If Our Government Were My Patient
There's so much going on in politics these days and my social media page is exploding with posts from folks who are angry, afraid and upset. At the time of this writing, the government is shut down and our President is in great opposition to the Speaker of the House over Border Wall funding. Outrage is spread among all sides of this conversation. Everyone is stuck in their own sense of righteous indignation and is unwilling to acknowledge the other side's point. Still, nothing is moving forward. It's all pride and no humility. Everything is at a standstill and people are suffering.
In Chinese medicine, when one is so caught up in his anger, righteous indignation or a permanent sense of injustice and there is no movement, I look for a quality in the pulses which usually indicates a particular block between two pathways. It's called an Eight-Nine block or a Wood to Metal element block. It's when the energy of anger and the energy of arrogance get stuck and there's no movement forward and no letting go because there is no creative idea, no acknowledgement of either side's position and neither side will graciously step aside even a little bit. It happens in relationships all the time. It happens when one has become angry about something they have no control about and no effective solution. There's no acceptance, only resignation or a persistent sense of indignation.
When this block gets entrenched, my patient will have chest tightness or pain, joint pains, headaches, migraines, weird muscle cramps, an inability to fully exhale, persistent feelings of frustration (often for no reason) an inability to move forward in life and persistent sense that being right is more important than moving forward with the issue at hand. Humility is no where to be found and pride has taken over. Sometimes there's a sense of collapse or even suppression of anger. "If I let myself feel it, I will explode." or "there's nothing I can do about it, so why try."
It doesn't have to happen in relation to another person. It can happen on it's own in a person who doesn't even know they may be angry about something. Often, it's a hidden anger that centers around a loss. Getting stuck in the loss, feeling a sense of injustice about it or simply ignoring that it has no real effect can move a person into a Wood - Metal imbalance. I see this with patients who have suffered the sudden loss of a loved one through a death or a breakup. I also see it with those who've been given a terminal diagnosis and can't get to acceptance about it.
The fast uprising energy of the Wood or Spring gets caught with the fast downward energy of the Metal or Autumn. The Liver and the Lungs are the corresponding organs that are the physical basis for this block. They have difficulty communicating with each other and physical symptoms arise. A whole lot of energy goes up and can't come down. An inhale and barely an exhale.
Here we are, in our country with a persistent Wood / Metal block. Both sides feel they are right. Neither side will acknowledge or respect the other. There are a lot of headaches.
If this government situation were my patient:
If it were my patient, the needles would be placed first in a point called "Gate of Hope." Gate of Hope opens and shifts the conversation from "It'll never work" to "Maybe there's another way." Did you feel a change in yourself when you read that? The next needle goes to a point called, "Middle Palace." Middle Palace is a place of inspiration on the Lung pathway. Breathing in is called "Inspiring." Middle Palace changes the conversation from "My way or the highway" to "Let's take a minute and seek some inspiration." Both together help restore us to a sense of higher purpose. They remove the pettiness and open us up to something greater than ourselves.
I believe that what we all need is a breather. We need to take a step back from our opinions, to reset the discourse to a higher purpose, to acknowledge our differences and to stay in a process that is based on baby steps toward higher ideals. We need to slow everything down, get quiet, take some breaths and be inspired. We are here for such a short time. What's the connection to the higher purpose? No matter what side I may lean toward, it is my responsibility to recognize the dignity and divinity of all - even if we disagree. After all, if I point one finger toward another, I've got three pointing back to myself.
Perhaps we can practice shifting our conversations in the political arena away from opinions that don't serve anyone or move the needle forward. What are effective actions I can take that will benefit the larger picture? If you believe this or that, tell me what has happened in your life that got you to this place? Help me understand you better. Be curious. You may end up making a friend instead of creating a deeper divide.