Removal of Wisdom Teeth Allows for More Wisdom

by Jemma Moses, Newrybar, Australia

I am a 26 year old woman and I am currently working on a psychology thesis at university, looking at self care practices among students and the relationship with stress. Since my teenage years I have felt a lot of anger. I have come to be aware that this anger comes from not truly being me in many everyday situations and with a range of people in my life. This can bring me much sadness, for I haven’t allowed myself to be me, the best thing ever! This anger has been expressed in my body as hardness, including arthritis in my right hand and tightness in my jaw.

I recently had my four wisdom teeth removed and therefore was unable to clench my jaw while the stitches healed. As I went about my daily routine I noticed I couldn’t do simple things like open a jar, whisk eggs, wash my hair, text a message on my mobile, the list goes on, without clenching my jaw. This was great, for I hadn’t been aware how often I clenched my jaw. I noticed I clenched my jaw when I got out of bed in the morning, not on waking but as I went to start the day. When I initially wake I feel lovely, but as I get out of bed I am clenching my teeth in anger and therefore starting my day that way. In other words, I am angry before I go to situations or meet people because I know I will not allow myself to be me in that setting. This is something I continue to work on. Opportunities like having my wisdom teeth removed have been a great chance for me to be more aware of how I go about things in my daily life.

Whilst allowing myself time to recover, I noticed that I didn’t need to say as much as I previously did. As my jaw was very tender I tried not to talk as often and to my surprise found I could still communicate effectively, if not better, with fewer words. I was choosing my words wisely and really taking time (probably only a second longer) to respond, instead of responding in babble something that I think I should say. This was not just isolated to the actual words I said, but also when meeting someone I didn’t feel I had to be something for them because I was using all my energy to focus on being gentle with myself and in this I realised the world will be ok even if I am not being something for it. This was a huge thing for me, for previously (and yes, still working on) I thought the world needs me to play a different role for different people, to make them feel good about themselves or keep them in their comfort zone. Thankfully this does not work, for it takes a lot of my energy.

Prior to working on living an esoteric life (with the assistance and support of Universal Medicine) I would not have allowed myself to stop and learn from such an experience as the removal of my wisdom teeth. The day before the operation I had a session with a Universal Medicine practitioner to honour myself that the next day was going to be a big day for me. After the operation, I kept a healthy balance of taking Panadol, but also not numbing myself too much, so  that I went about my day being aware that I needed a lot of rest and little physical movement. If I had had this procedure done two years ago (before coming to Universal Medicine) I would have fought needing to rest and probably would have deemed the whole experience a nuisance.

My experience has helped me understand how medicine, which includes self-care, can be practised all the time. Ideally self-care should be a natural activity, but we tend to let things in our life get in the way. It may have taken having my wisdom teeth removed to learn how often I clench my jaw, but I think this is wonderful. Looking at it in such a way can allow us to become more responsible and aware during times that would normally be seen as a painful nuisance and just something we do or have to get over.  If we allow it, it can be so much more.

482 thoughts on “Removal of Wisdom Teeth Allows for More Wisdom

  1. ‘for I haven’t allowed myself to be me, the best thing ever!’ indeed Jemma, that the thing we entangle ourselves in trying to please others and present a good front and it’s exhausting and we don’t live us, the very thing no one else can bring. It’s great to have things happen in life to remind us that this is what we do as it asks us to come back to living us.

    1. Yes – we try to be something we are not, at great expense to the something we are. This is the game of life we must free ourselves from in order to truly live it.

  2. ‘Whilst allowing myself time to recover, I noticed that I didn’t need to say as much as I previously did. As my jaw was very tender I tried not to talk as often and to my surprise found I could still communicate effectively, if not better, with fewer words.’ I am beginning to find generally that the fewer words I use the better, because I then don’t dilute what I am saying by adding unnecessary words.

  3. We tend to look forward to outings, holidays, the pub, watching a specific tv program, films, anything which is ‘out there’ to make us feel better or think that they support us but I have come to recognise that these activities are a false sense of contentment which doesn’t last unless the activity supports me to connect or confirm the connection to myself. I am finding what truly supports me is self care, self care that is done in connection to my body and it is through the consistency of self care which is a continuing unfoldment that truly supports me and my body.

  4. What people see – our public face is not who we truly are and your blog shows that if we do not look deeper the body suffers symptoms that affect its movement in the world. This blog shows how through a simple procedure our awareness can expose so much that is going on in the body through our everyday interactions without knowing. Self-care is something most of us are not shown in life and it is beautiful to observe how this can still be developed at any age. Thanks Jemma

  5. When we allow ourselves to stop, we can learn so much from every experience in our lives. The body is such an interesting playground because it will always be telling the truth of what our choices have been and will give us lots of opportunities to heal what is in the way of truly being.

  6. Being taken out of our comfort zone either triggers us into stress and a survival mode (perhaps the most common response?) or an opportunity to learn and evolve. Your sharing here, Jemma, is a powerful testament to benefit of the latter approach and the more one welcomes the opportunity the more fluid and less stressful the learning is.

  7. As a child I remember being told to take care of myself but, as I consider that advice to what I now understand self-care to be, that was for protection, to protect me, while today it is in order for me to be all of me in order to share myself and to be of service

  8. Each time I go to the dentist I get to appreciate the level of healing that takes place when I am in the hands of a Dentist who makes their health and wellbeing of equal priority.

  9. What a brilliant experience your wisdom teeth removal offered you Jemma! And us – your sharing of this gorgeous piece of wisdom has helped me assess and understand my own approach to the day and to people. I particularly loved the line ‘…I realised the world will be ok even if I am not being something for it…’. You’re absolutely right. We are enough, always, just as we are. No personality, perfection, pandering or pleasing required.

  10. ‘My experience has helped me understand how medicine, which includes self-care, can be practised all the time.’ It’s marvellous how, when a recovery or illness forces us to be oh so gentle with ourselves, we have an opportunity to register and deepen our self-care – and thus our self-love. In this way we are our own, loving practitioners of health and well-being. How much your experience will not only enrich your livingness in the ways you’ve described, but will also support the writing of your thesis, and inform your understanding of the subject matter itself!

  11. It’s amazing how much our bodies are showing us, all the time, what is truly going on. When we start listening to them and joining up the dots ,so to speak, we can go deeper with our own healing and begin to let go of ‘issues’ that are possibly lifetimes old.

  12. It is amazing how life has a lesson for us in the most unexpected places, and in fact as we start to tune in to these lessons, we start to realise that the lessons are constant and always coming, offering us a lift out of the mud we have chosen to get stuck in.

  13. I love this title Jemma, and it is so true! You have given us a great example how a seemingly adverse situation has the seeds of great healing within it, if only we allow ourselves the grace to let such wisdom unfold and blossom. True wisdom is knowing how to accept the lessons that are forever being gifted to us and thus accepting the healing on offer therein.

  14. It is wonderful to discover how we can learn so much about ourselves by the illness which occur in our bodies. Looking at illness and disease in this way helps us enormously to understand how we use the body to get through our life, and something as simple as clenching the jaw can reveal so much.

  15. Recently I have noticed how I can feel flat sometimes with a little sadness but mainly flat and began to ponder what that could mean. First I went into comparing myself to feeling not that bad but still I acknowledged that I was feeling flat and that was not who I was. I am coming to the conclusion that every time I hold back my expression the impact is feeling flat. Becoming aware of the moments when I hold back and doing something about it eg. choosing the clothes that support me for that day is helping me to live a life expressing the true me and that is making a big difference to how I am feeling during the day… a work in progress.

  16. I agree Jemma, looking at life and the way we are living by how the body communicates to us that our lifestyle choices are impacting on our body enables us to initiate true change, a more caring way of being and allows for greater awareness and understanding of ourselves and of life.

  17. It is so true Jemma – being ourselves is ‘the best thing ever!’ This is why we are here, and when we do not live in connection to who we are we fall into the entrapments of needing recognition, acceptance or approval in order to seek identification. Yet return to our connection to ourselves, our Soul, and we re-discover a freedom that is far greater than any role that the world of illusion offers.

  18. You have me thinking about all the parts of our body we just don’t pay attention to! I wonder how many times we do small things like clench our jaw, or hold different muscles taut every day that we are not aware of…?

    1. True Meg and all the movements that are not supporting our body like clenching the jaw, become habits that we no longer notice but are continually wearing down and harming the body, until we get an issue around the area we are misusing, and it is then a choice whether we choose to look deeper into what is really going on with our body and the harm we are causing to ourselves.

  19. Thank you for sharing Jemma, you remind me of something important today to take care of my part, to be gentle with myself and to allow the other to just be and that the world will be fine …. even if I am not being something for it. And that is a huge one for me to see and feel today so thank you.

  20. Great observation Jemma, when we slow down our conversation with others, it becomes more honest as it no longer comes from an immediate reaction, we actually take a few seconds to feel first and then engage from the honesty we feel from our body, and the more consistent we become and the deeper we allow ourselves to feel we move from honesty to truth.

    1. I absolutely agree Heather. It is very empowering to come to the understanding that life, and the way we live it, is medicine. With this understanding in terms of our health, the ball is in our court in the sense that we can take preventative measures by making adjustments to how we move through our day, so that we are not constantly creating ill pockets of movement (thoughts, actions etc. that are not sourced from love) that mean we then have to reach for a plethora of medications to ‘fix’ us. By all means the medications can support us to get back on track, but there is so much we can do to support ourselves to not deviate so disastrously off track in the first place.

  21. There is so much we can learn from our bodies if we listen. It is a lot of fun to have that conversation and very liberating to let go of hurts and tensions.

  22. If any one part of my body is out of action or injured such as my thumb, rib, toe anything it is amazing to see just how much they have to say and how every other part of my body is affected. I am inspired to tune into different parts and bring awareness to them without needing them to get to that state. For example how are my shoulders as a type this, how am I sitting?

  23. “Whilst allowing myself time to recover, I noticed that I didn’t need to say as much as I previously did. As my jaw was very tender I tried not to talk as often and to my surprise found I could still communicate effectively, if not better, with fewer words.” It interesting how we feel we have to same more, but in fact the less we say is plenty. We need to communicate with quality and purpose, less but in truth and to the point. Anything else can dilute the communication.

  24. I love how life can provide opportunities to look at and address choices and begin to heal what is unloving or does not serve. Sometimes it takes an illness or incident to expose patterns we had not been prepared to see before, and through loving choices to be aware, learn what is there to grow from and heal… so we can let go of old ways and begin to move through life differently.

  25. Yes – self-care should be a natural activity and yet it is often considered a bother or something we need to get done to keep the body going. What is interesting to note here is that when we ‘do’ self-care we fuel the function and when we live self-care we fuel the body.

  26. Some great observations here with regards to being angry without realising it, and the tension held in the body. It is interesting as most of us would say that we are not angry people, but recently I could feel the anger I was carrying around at school – which was some thirty years ago. The only time the anger would surface was when I would get challenged or felt cornered, which inevitably ended up in a fight. I would be the last person who would want to be in a confrontation with someone, but if pushed I would not back down and the anger was never very far away. What this has shown me is no matter what the image we have of ourselves i.e. shy or quiet, there can be an undercurrent underneath which lays dormant if not brought to the surface.

  27. What is so wonderful is that the more we care for ourselves the more sensitive and aware we become and when these old behaviours show themselves we get to see how uncaring we have actually been and can appreciate how far we have come.

  28. Wow, I relate to this on so many levels. I recall many times when I feel like I have to “be something” for people, even if that “something” is a messy bumbling fool. I will often speak before I have totally soaked things in and considered the quality in my response. I have also had/ have a jaw grinding, clenching, gritting thing going on in my sleep but have not been aware of it during the day. This blog feels like it offers me a slow down of sorts, so thank you.

  29. I cannot but feel with what you share Jemma the fact that when it comes to quality sometimes less is actually so much more just as you realised in the way that you communicated post wisdom teeth removal. This is a great observation for us all to learn from.

  30. “If we allow it, it can be so much more.” Thank you for the reminder that when we allow things to be rather than fighting our situation we can actually grow and learn and eventually appreciate what we were initially resisting.

  31. I love this, I think illness and problems we experience with our bodies can definitely make us more wiser, the key is whether we take what we’ve learnt or sensed and apply it to the rest of our lives, making all the changes and tweaks we need to support ourselves moving forwards.

  32. A great point you highlight here Jemma, understanding that self-care is a part of medicine and the more we nurture and care for ourselves the greater awareness we connect to within ourselves and our inner knowing that guides and supports us to be able to truly engage with life.

  33. Jemma I really enjoyed reading this, I particularly noticed this line “the world will be ok even if I am not being something for it” which I can relate to. There can be quite subtle pressures I place on myself to be a certain way with others and with the focus being outside myself, so I could appreciate the gift you received after the operation to focus on you and just being gentle with you. Such a change halts and exposes momentums we have lived for so long that feel normal, yet they are not great for our wellbeing at all. 

  34. All anger masks a deep, deep sadness that comes from not living true to the delicate, sensitive, precious and all-seeing being that we each in essence are.

  35. “I realised the world will be ok even if I am not being something for it.” How many of us don’t even realise we are not being ourselves due to playing all the many and varied roles both expected by ourselves and others. And yet by doing this no-one is getting to feel the real, true us which is beyond comparison to the empty shadowy mask we portray.

  36. Great observation, Jemma. I didn’t even know that I was clenching my jaws until my dentist told me a few years ago. It was so easy to just say ‘Oh, it’s stress’ and brush it off, but from your sharing I can feel there’s much for me to see and feel into. Thank you for the inspiration.

  37. Occasionally I feel some twinges of arthritis in my fingers…thank you, you have reminded me to check in with the anger I may be harbouring in my body and where this is coming from.

  38. Sometimes does need something like this for us to stop and reflect, and when we do have the opportunity to reflect in this way, such contemplation has such potential to lead to unfolding wisdom that guides us through our life.

  39. I love that removing your wisdom teeth opened you up to more wisdom – as you were willing to feel all the learning that this experience offered you. Thank you for sharing your great wake up call and the opportunity to reflect how much you moulded yourself to what you felt others needed from you which I can really relate to and also the resentment that comes with that which I am still working on releasing as I focus on taking loving care of myself.

  40. For the last week I’ve had intense shoulder, neck and upper arm pain. Not being able to work because of it. Those around me shrugged, suggested painkillers and carry on. But I know this was telling me something about how I’ve been living. A huge opportunity to learn not to hold back. Had I just seen it as a nuisance I wouldn’t see the wisdom to be learnt.

  41. Some great words of wisdom Jemma, I agree that self-care is part of everyday medicine, when we stop to nurture, and care for ourselves it becomes a natural rhythm in our everyday lives.

  42. Thanks Jemma, your blog gave me the opportunity to connect to and feel the tightness in my own jaw and to feel and consider what might be the cause of this emotionally, thank you. And I agree, being ourselves is the best thing ever.

  43. What great awareness you share here. I relate to the fact that like you I often don’t speak from my truth but modify what I was about to say which is annoying. I have been working on changing this and slowly this is happening.

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