Late May, after a deep and emotional conversation – I noticed the skin around my lips become uncomfortably dry. As I prepped for my stepdaughter’s birthday, I would press a napkin against my lips to soothe the skin as it began to weep. Months passed and despite using different ointments, antibiotics and balms, nothing cured the cycle of it cracking, peeling, weeping and sometimes bleeding.
Besides a couple incidents when I had minor body hives from stress, I had never experienced anything like this before.
While in Europe, I even stepped into a pharmacy in Germany to see what a different country would recommend (it was Zinc), just so I can have another solution. That didn’t work.
Prior to leaving abroad, I also started developing a minor rash on my face, which went away after layers of petroleum jelly and Benadryl. After arriving home however, I noticed I started to flare up whenever I underwent a stressful conversation. While the home energy was loving and supportive, it was also chaotic and unpredictable. For some time, I’ve been feeling unsettled, unhappy and now unable to breathe – I could feel a rising storm within me.
I didn’t say it, but my face showed it. I woke up to dry and painful eczema around my face after difficult discussions. As I envisioned the healing process, it would be intruded by another event, which caused my skin to get more irritated and even weep. My face was extremely painful, itchy, dry, yet wet, and coarse.
I remember humbly lying in bed, unable to get up from physical pain, sadness and sleep-induced allergy medicines. I started to release a deep, wailing cry in grief over my internal feelings of life, death, loss and love. My stubborn nature was willing to not address my internal conflicts for as long as it took, until I was literally forced to stare at it in the mirror.
Most of my life, I was great at hiding it. As a recovering perfectionist and over-achiever, I was/am a good girl, who did good things. After all, I held various life titles that symbolized I was a decent human being. I was righteous, critical, positive, bubbly, progressive…busy. If I was stressed, I worked it out, wrote it out and prayed it out. If I was unhappy, I distracted my discontent with a new project. If something needed help, I saved, restored and rescued it. I always had an answer. There wasn’t anything I couldn’t use my superpowers of discipline, focus and unwavering commitment in.
I felt like I was dying from the inside, unable to breathe. I felt like the longer I stayed in stoic silence, the more I withered a little every day. I witnessed my cycles; I saw the karmic path my parents (and now I) walked and I knew the only way out it – was feeling every feeling as I passed through the stages of healing.
Ever since my mother’s passing, I increased my personal knowing. Having struggled with multiple health issues, it always made me passionate to help others so they too wouldn’t endure the same fate. In my relentless efforts to understand human motivation to be healthy one thing rings loud and extremely clear after my most recent skin battles…
Everything you feel internally will manifest externally.
If you are in pain, your body will be in pain. If you feel empty, you will find things to fill that emptiness. Stress, sadness and depression is a powerful emotion that can kill you just like feelings of love, joy and happiness can heal you.
In my efforts to start meditating again, a spiritual friend suggested I talk to my lips and ask what it was trying to tell me.
So I did.
As I sat in stillness and let my mind wander into nothingness, after a period of silence I saw the words, “Anger”. Confused, as I’m not one who presents herself as angry, I asked WHY. Moments later I felt the phrase, you aren’t being heard.
The youthful patterns of denying my emotions and betraying my truth to be complicit of someone else’s narrative replayed in my soul. It was easier to go along, stay quiet and sacrifice a piece of myself – rather than address monsters in the room.
Realizing my complicit nature was astounding coming from a self-proclaimed, forwardly aggressive, fear breaker. What’s your excuse, right? Truth is…
It’s not the challenges I overcome that matter, it’s the ones I choose not to engage in that truly challenges me.
It’s not what I say that matters, it’s what I choose not to say – that says something.
It’s not what I write that matters, it’s the deepest parts of myself that I keep hidden, even from me, that will never be read.
Lastly, regardless of the masks we wear or the prescriptions we take to deal with discomfort, you cannot fully heal until you find the root of the problem. It’s not a matter of if, but when you will need to look yourself deeply in your internal mirror.
There’s a root and reason why everything happens in this world. You can’t deny or delete pieces of yourself that surfaces. I know because I’ve been there. I don’t want to be there, anymore.