Illness as Metaphor: How to "Read" Your Heart
by Diane Eble, CHCCP and editor of The Healing Code
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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
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
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
That theme can be a metaphor that runs throughout the issues. You just have to
know how to "think like your heart."
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
For Todd, his physical, emotional, and even relational issues were all connected
by one image or metaphor: a bomb.
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
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.
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