Having ideals and beliefs – at what expense to the body?

by Cherise Holt, Nurse, Australia

When I was 20 years old, I graduated as a nurse and began to work in a Rehabilitation unit, in a major city hospital. On any shift I would be allocated to approximately 7 patients, all of whom were recovering from surgical procedures, injuries and various illnesses & diseases. They all varied in the amount of support they (and their carers) needed from me, physically, mentally and emotionally.

I worked shift work, usually days, afternoons and weekends and it was not uncommon to work 7 days without a break or have very irregular shifts. I frequently worked until 11pm at night and would then start another shift beginning at 6.30am the next morning. I used to think I had barely enough time to drive home and sleep, let alone take time to wind down properly or bring true quality to my relationship with me (or anyone else!).

I worked hard and I would tell anyone that I thoroughly enjoyed my job. I loved talking to the patients, although found it difficult with those that wanted more of my attention or more solutions from me than I felt I could give. I liked providing care for them, however found that the physical tasks I was doing for them, even the basics of daily care, was becoming tiring on my body.

At age 20, I was already feeling drained by my career; how could this be?

At age 21, I had a serious lower back injury and was unable to keep working, although I had pushed myself to try. I found myself in a young body with limited mobility; requiring rehabilitation, physiotherapy, day procedures and narcotics for the excruciating pain I was experiencing – in fact, I was looking not too dissimilar to any one of my patients.

I held the belief that I was going to get better and return to work as soon as possible, but I had a lot of fear for the physical pain or damage that I could possibly do to myself again. I discounted any thought (or suggestion) that I could find work anywhere else, because in my mind I had committed myself to returning to my workplace and simply picking up where I left off.

As the many months went on, I continued to experience great pain and felt stuck within my own choices. I had placed so much pressure on myself to get back to where I was that I was not listening to my own body and what it actually felt it could do. I began to feel more worthless in my self because I wasn’t able to work and reach my goal; hardness on me that I can see now was only serving to further inhibit my own recovery.

After two full years of not working I had a moment, a communication with myself where I questioned my held beliefs – who says you have to take your body back to that specific workplace? Are you really letting anyone (including yourself) down by moving on?

With this simple conversation, I let go of a belief that I had created and had held in my own head for a very long time, and with my renouncing of its controlling hold, I just let it go!

Within a short time I was applying for new jobs and found myself in a perfect position within a day hospital setting. The shifts supported me, as did the physical workload and my colleagues, but most importantly I began to uncover just how detrimental and stunting a held belief really can be! It’s a disease in our bodies.

When we invest in ideals and beliefs, we are seeking outside of ourselves for the right or should thing to do, and we can get caught up in pleasing others too. In this we contract ourselves away from the natural expression and personal rhythm that we can otherwise live our lives in and from. The toll that this way of holding back takes on our bodies is enormous (and my back is a true testament!).

These days I am SO grateful that my back and my physical body communicates with me the way that it does, reminding me that when I honour me and my body and don’t compromise myself for ideals, beliefs, pushing, trying, or other people, my body is left free to move in the flowing freedom and beauty that is my own rhythm. On the flip side, when I don’t honour what I feel and what is true for me, my body tells me through an ache, pain or tightness straight away, reminding me that I carry a wisdom far greater than any ideal and when I truly listen I am brought back to the truth of what I know and how to be in the way that I live.

Forever inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon & Universal Medicine, supporting me to gather the pieces of the puzzle that collectively bring true medicine and the way that I live back together again.

 

Read more:

  1. Work is medicine 
  2. Self-care at work
  3. Are we building our body image, or, is our image building our body? 

889 thoughts on “Having ideals and beliefs – at what expense to the body?

  1. It is a classic situation to feel stuck in our own choices – but this is a time when we know that we need to re-consider how we are living and the choices we are making. Thank you Cherise for sharing this valuable experience with us all – something for me to ponder on how I too am stuck at times in my own choices.

  2. Indeed Cherise, we can be so trapped in the mind that we forget that we can simply feel from our bodies what to do in any situation we are in. It is so common to dismiss any discomfort in our bodies and to neglect the wisdom and care that it carries, but when we finally return, we will discover that our body is our best ‘friend’ in life and is a much better place to go than to the limited mind.

  3. When we feel trapped within our own choices we also feel trapped within the status quo – and in a world that is based on growth, expansion and evolution this is actually extremely debilitating.

  4. We can let ourselves get so hooked by someone elses ideals and beliefs, that before we know it we have taken them on as our own. But they are so damaging, and can restrict us in so many ways. Since discovering ‘The Way of the Livingness’ and realsiing that I have carried so many ideals and beliefs in my own body, with the support of the Esoteric Healing modalities I have been able to let go of so much unfounded ‘stuff’ that I have, and still am discovering a whole new level of freedom that is opening doors for me in ways that I would previously never have imagined possible.

  5. When we attach ourselves to a belief we shut out any possibility of seeing that there may be other options. Awesome that you now listen to your body’s communication and adjust yourself accordingly. It has taken me a long time to recognise the many ways that my body communicates with me and even longer to not override it on a regular basis but it is so worth it not just for the quality of life that I now have but also for the fact that I appreciate the purposefulness of my life and what I offer to others through my work and other projects.

  6. Wow Cherise, I wish I’d had that same unfolding in my 20s. I entered the cooking industry as a young apprentice and took jobs that were far too harsh for me – but stuck at it and them, when the reality was I could have chosen roles that were far less demanding and debilitating. Congratulations on listening to your body rather than over-riding with your mind.

  7. It’s incredible how caught up in our ideas of how we should be, they can be so tricky and insidious that the only way we can know what is truly going on is to reflect on any ailments in our bodies.

  8. All around me I see others living lives that are based on ideals and beliefs, just as I used to. And all around me I see so many that are exhausted, unhappy and in pain as a result of these ideals and beliefs, just as I was. It really doesn’t make sense that we run our lives on what we have had passed on to us unquestioned, instead of taking the time to stop and listen to our bodies, but we do. How much illness, injury and disease could be avoided if how to care for our bodies was one of the first lessons we ever had? My answer would be – a whole lot!

  9. Could our ideas and beliefs be one of the greatest health challenges we face even though as yet they are yet to even be acknowledged as contributing to illness and disease?

  10. Great blog and it also exposes how when we are caught in an ideal or belief we are not free to think the kind of thoughts that free us.

    1. Sometimes it appears there is some huge insurmountable problem but there is a very simple answer it is just we are not seeing it or there is no real problem at all just something we are creating and when we stop creating it disappears.

  11. It’s a great blessing to know that the intangible, like thoughts and beliefs actually have a significant impact on our physical body. In this way I’ve become very much more aware of what it is I’m doing to myself and others when we stay open to this fact and look at changing these things to support my body physically.

  12. I remember working big shifts consistently for years and how this all went for me. There was injury after injury and to be honest I thought this was just how it was going to be, I thought that it was what life was all about and I didn’t think I had a choice. Work hard, work very hard and earn enough money so one day you can retire was pretty much my plan. I had no interest in promotion I just wanted to work hard. The impact on me was great and yet now I still work hard and yet the impact on me isn’t as great, well it’s possible I actually work harder, how can this be? It comes from how I do it, the quality and if I’m listening to the consistent message around me. Back when I was working hard and getting injured and drained there were many things I felt but would just ignore, hold in and dismiss. Now it’s just that I listen to these messages more then before and trust what I am feeling. I am by no means hands off but there is a definite quality to how I am with everything. So I work hard but also take a deep care of everything I feel, it’s not perfect but real and honest. We need to take care of our bodies so it’s easier to listen to it. That is another point that has changed, the care naturally I have for others is now equally taken to myself.

  13. So supportive for us all to see ideals and beliefs as a disease no different to any other physical dysfunction and in fact one could say they are the first disease or illness that leads eventually to the physical problems or ailments.

  14. Cherise a great reminder that when we allow ourselves to be open and honest with what we are feeling, and don’t get caught up in expectations, ideals or beliefs we can free ourselves of the physical boundaries that hold us back.

  15. It just goes to show that regardless of our age if we do not care and look after ourselves our bodies can feel a lot older than we actually are! It also goes to show just how debilitating ill beliefs and ideals can be. I am currently feeling, with the help of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine what have I invested in that is not true or what have I said yes to in my life (either consciously or subconsciously) that is not true and holding me back from being all that I am.

  16. How amazing that our bodies are a radar for ideals and beliefs, soon letting us know through aches, pains and illness if we are getting caught up in them rather than living from our bodies natural, loving impulses.

  17. Health Care Practitioner burnout is a real issue in medicine today. Our training does not really give us the full picture when it comes to the reality on the ‘front line’ and so we go out to work with only half the tools we need and are then expected to deliver unrealistic results based on outcomes that do not take the full picture in terms of how people are living into account.

  18. Having ideals and beliefs also expectations that things should be a certain way sets us up for disappointment. We often take these beliefs on because we absorb our family’s way of functioning in society. It is great to pause and deeply reflect if any if these truly serve us.

  19. Ideals and beliefs can be so ingrained in our consciousness especially in our relationship to work. They are everywhere in society passing down from one generation to another through our parents, grandparents, friends parents, teachers, magazines, tv, the list is endless but when we begin to ask questions about where the beliefs and ideals are coming from it does make us pause to reflect and opens the door to possibly make changes.

  20. I love how this article plainly shows how what we believe or think in our mind has a physical response in our bodies and lives. A moment to stop and consider what we allow our thoughts to be.

  21. Once, in a new job that felt demanding: long hours, night calls, I constantly felt tired. I asked for guidance on what I needed to do differently and was given an answer. By changing the belief I had about the number of hours of sleep I needed each night, I decreased the number and found I had more, not less energy. By devoting morning time to projects, other commitments and nurturing routines, I was given all the energy needed to work each full day with joy in my heart.

  22. This is such a tangible example of the debilitating effects of a beLIEf and the power of recognising that the moment a belief is seen for what it is, it no longer has any hold over us.

  23. Although your were young fit and strong at 20 that work schedule was close to inhumane and guaranteed to lead to burn out at the very least or worse as was your case. Health systems must care for those that work within them as well as caring for the patients.

  24. Holding ourselves to an ideal, be that about a job, relationship, how and where we live or the type of person we think we need to be, are all very sinister ways of dulling our deeper essence, that may have a way of being to offer us that our ideals have not let us explore.

  25. How interesting is it that when we are hard on ourselves our body can tell us in subtle and not so subtle ways. I am in awe of the love that our body is that it will only let us go so far before it breaks down and communicates with us in a way that we have to listen.

  26. Holding onto ideals and beliefs keep us in the illusion that we have to push and fight in life which is the illusion, when in fact the more we discard of these the more space we create to know ourselves and God and everything that is needed is provided for the good of all.

  27. Great point Cherise that holding on to beliefs about how we ‘should’ be or what we ‘need’ to do is a holding back and a disease in the body..every time we hold onto something it creates a blockage and a tension.

  28. ‘but most importantly I began to uncover just how detrimental and stunting a held belief really can be! It’s a disease in our bodies.’ I have found the exact same. There are beliefs I know I still have and hold onto with such a tight grip that are keeping me ill, while others I have been willing to let go of..but only when I reach that point to realise just how debilitating they are.

  29. Ideals and beliefs are like a millstone around your neck. Since becoming a student of The Way of The Livingness I have become aware of the harm that the ideals and beliefs I had taken on were imposing on my body, both physical and emotional. I now feel a freedom to be and to choose what feels right for me.

  30. ‘when I honour me and my body and don’t compromise myself for ideals, beliefs, pushing, trying, or other people, my body is left free to move in the flowing freedom and beauty that is my own rhythm.’ This compromise for ideals, beliefs, pushing, trying or other people, can play havoc with our health. We get accustomed to tension in the body and that is what feels familiar so we do not question it and simply override any hint that it is there until of course the hint slowly turns into a shout. Doing The Gentle Breath Meditation for me has been a marvellous way to frequently allow my body to let go and resume a more natural rhythm. This feeling then becomes familiar and because it is so lovely we want to come back to it and allow it to deepen into more tender and delicate ways of being where the push and the trying feel so alien and we are less likely to choose them so often.

  31. I’ve had this experience many times, when something seemed so fundamental and difficult, yet when I let go of the ideal that is forcing me down that path… the freedom I feel is immense and I’m suddenly able to see the whole plethora of options that are in truth available all the time.

  32. How quickly our bodies respond when we let go of damaging ideals and beliefs that hold us back. I’ve had a sore upper back for two weeks now and it has been very painful and restricting me in what I can do and my movements at times. All I kept thinking was how much I wish it would go, so I could go back to how I usually am. Well how I usually am has contributed to me having this pain. It has changed since I’ve been okay with feeling it and allowing it to show me what needs to change.

  33. Ideals and beliefs are detrimental to ourselves in many ways, how important to be aware of them so we can then choose to let them go, ‘When we invest in ideals and beliefs, we are seeking outside of ourselves for the right or should thing to do’, and so disregarding ourselves in the process.

  34. Living from an ideal is living disconnected from your body, it is living in your mind and going for a goal without feeling if we can physically do this. It seems silly to do this as we are depending on our bodies to do things, to live and also it governs how much we will enjoy what we are doing.

  35. Thank you Cherise for your gorgeous sharing; what you have expressed here I was truly inspired by, simple yet so wise and true;
    “when I honour me and my body and don’t compromise myself for ideals, beliefs, pushing, trying, or other people, my body is left free to move in the flowing freedom and beauty that is my own rhythm”.

  36. ‘With this simple conversation, I let go of a belief that I had created and had held in my own head for a very long time, and with my renouncing of its controlling hold, I just let it go!’ This is beautiful Cherise – letting go our beliefs really are that simple.

  37. ‘…reminding me that I carry a wisdom far greater than any ideal and when I truly listen I am brought back to the truth of what I know and how to be in the way that I live.’ There really is sooo much wisdom inside of us, just waiting for us to allow it to burst out.

  38. ‘most importantly I began to uncover just how detrimental and stunting a held belief really can be! It’s a disease in our bodies’ This is gold Cherise and so true. Letting go our ideals and beliefs is both freeing and healing for our bodies at the same time.

  39. Often a break from routine or work is needed to re-connect with ourselves and gain new perspectives on life and sense of what is true for us. Cherise you show that we can re-build ourselves by releasing previously held beliefs. Instead of doggedly following a path previously trodden, we can simply walk away from it and find one that supports, replenishes and brings back a sense of self worth.

  40. “I had a moment, a communication with myself where I questioned my held beliefs.” To look at the parameters we hold fast to, and thus affect the physical structure, to address these beliefs and allow the body to speak is a very freeing and healing thing for the body.

  41. if we hold a picture of how something ought to be we imprison ourselves in that picture and get dissatisfied when something doesn’t fit or work out the way we want it to. We have invested everything in it being a certain way. This is bound to fail and if it does appear to succeed at what cost is it? Sometimes we need to think outside of the box so to speak and allow our bodies as well as our minds to dictate our next move.

    1. Very true Elaine, I felt today that it doesn’t matter if I get everything done that I believe I need to and tick everything off my list, if it all comes from a picture, then it is empty and that is what I will then feel in my body.

  42. We can get so fixed on thinking life has to be a certain way and we do everything to make it work out like that, even to the detriment of our bodies. But when we let go and allow life to be as it naturally is there is a letting go that allows us to just be ourselves

  43. “I had placed so much pressure on myself to get back to where I was that I was not listening to my own body and what it actually felt it could do. I began to feel more worthless in my self because I wasn’t able to work and reach my goal.” A great sharing Cherise, in imposing an expectation or ideal on ourselves to reach an end goal we ignore and override what our body is really communicating to us and therefore in valuing ourselves as less we hold back our true and natural expression.

  44. Ideals should come with a health warning! Having a picture of how we ‘should’ be can be so damaging to our wellbeing. Bringing more awareness to our body and what it may be reflecting to us through illness and disease, aches and pains gives us an amazing marker for what is true for us in my experience too.

  45. “…I began to uncover just how detrimental and stunting a held belief really can be! It’s a disease in our bodies.” I too have discovered how destructive holding onto beliefs can be, not just from the effects on my body, but on many of those around me. It is utterly exhausting living a belief, in a way that is not true, and the first place it is felt is in our body, and if we choose to ignore the body’s messages there is certain to be a big stop moment ahead.

  46. Being in a young body and experiencing the pain and disability you describe suggests the ideals and beliefs are far older than this life alone.

  47. Thank you Cherise, re-reading this has been very beneficial and just what was needed at this moment, as I am in the process of questioning my job and what beliefs are held there.

  48. Wanting life, a situation, myself or others to be a certain way I find is a sure fire way to become frustrated and miserable in life. Having this ideal picture of how life should be often feels very imposing and serious, whereas when I accept myself and life as I am, it is and how other people are, it’s like a weight has lifted off me. Achieving such pictures is often fleeting at best and always leaves me feeling empty whereas accepting doesn’t, it only has space to expand and be curious to what more is there in life.

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