Illness as Metaphor: How to "Read" Your Heart
by Diane Eble, CHCCP and editor of The Healing Code
Print this page
I'd like to share a case study from a client that sheds very interesting light on how "the
(spiritual) heart" works with images and associations.
It just may give you an "aha" into the true source of your biggest current issue(s).
My client, whom I'll call "Todd," had several issues he wanted to work on healing: irregular heartbeat, enlarged
prostate, hernia; "an addictive personality" and fear of something bad happening.
As it turned out, that latter was the source of all the other things. That often happens: all of the issues end
up being connected.
The connection is usually a cluster of memories with a central theme.
That theme can be a metaphor that runs throughout the issues. You just have to know how to "think like your
Your mind thinks in words, but your heart "thinks" in pictures, images and feelings. You might call the "heart"
the "right side of the brain" where feelings and images dominate.
For Todd, his physical, emotional, and even relational issues were all connected by one image or metaphor: a
Every one of his emotional and physical issues turned out to be a "bomb" of some sort. They were all things that
could "explode" at any time. He felt like he was "walking on eggshells" with his wife, just as he had with his
mother growing up. (Wife and mother's emotions like bombs that could go off at any moment.)
All his physical symptoms were also "bombs": a hernia that could become strangulated at any moment; an enlarged
prostate that could turn to cancer; an irregular heartbeat that could become dangerous at any time. He also feared
that his drinking could turn into an addiction.
In working together to uncover memories with a variety of emotions (fear, anxiety, anger, feeling trapped), we
finally drilled down to several early memories. That is where we found the connection: Several of the early
memories, starting at age 5, involved bombs!
Todd grew up in the Cold War era, where bomb drills had kids hiding under their desks or going into bomb
shelters. (Just listen to the soundtrack of this YouTube video, and look at the cartoon of "Duck and Cover" and imagine a 5-year-old experiencing this again and
again....) Todd had several terrifying early memories:being in a bomb shelter, "duck and cover" bomb drills at
school starting in kindergarten, and then later, the Cuban missile crisis and walking home from school (no
driving in case there was a bomb). "Always remember, an atomic bomb attack could come at any time...." became
deeply ingrained in Todd, and generalized to more things than literal bombs.
All his issues boiled down to "fear of something bad happening," the source of which were his "bomb memories."
When we healed the fear in those core memories (and it took awhile to drill down and get to the core), all his
issues were resolved very quickly.
As you think about your most pressing problem, whether it's emotional, physical, relational, or a success issue,
see if there are any images or metaphors or common threads. Once you find and unravel that, very often the whole
"ball" of issues resolves.
If you are a Baby Boomer, you might want to do a Healing Code on fear memories from bomb drills at school.
It's difficult to imagine how any young child could watch that film and not become scared on some level. There may
be a whole generation of us who need healing of "bomb issues." And if you need help with that, contact me for custom Healing Codes.