Our whole being, though one, is made of many parts, each mysteriously interwoven. One part automatically affects the others.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
“Mountains of evidence now demonstrate with unshakeable certainty that the body suffers from abuse and trauma well after it has ended.” Like the heart and mind and soul are injured, and therefore carry that injury long into the future, so does the body, even though it is not presently being harmed. If left unattended, it will often fester until it breeds infection and manifests itself in worse ways. Rather than ignore the pain, we must listen to it “as a gift that contains an important message worthy of being heard and honored.”1
I’ve held onto pain so long until it broke my body. Chronic illnesses have exploded within me over the years, especially the latter three. Once vibrant and healthy, I’ve nearly forgotten what it feels like to be well. After years of exhausting every test available, my doctors conclude I match no common medical criteria that would explain the reason for the diseases my body carries. Recent decades of evidence show this is common among those who bear the heartache of abuse.
My counselor said the body knows grief before the mind does. Further, my acupuncturist and MD explained that sometimes the body doesn’t process trauma until long after the stressful event has passed. When we slow down to focus on healing, the body sometimes exhibits all it has carried and all we have internalized during the prior years of surviving.
Certainly, not all chronic illnesses stem from prior or current suffering or trauma. But the evidence that it can and does is worth exploring.
This also does not mean we are hopelessly left to unending torture.
More on this coming soon.
More on Sexual Abuse & Clergy Sexual Abuse with resources
1“Healing the Wounded Heart” by Dan B. Allender