For most of my professional career, I have been fascinated with the human body and how it works. Even before I started working as a chiropractor, I was intrigued by how we work and what we can do.
I have had various illnesses, food poisoning, aches and pains, a surgery, acne and more. I still have something pop up, pardon the pun, every now and then. Life does not come without the necessary feedback you require in order to grow and evolve. It can come in the form of physiological challenges but it can also come in other forms too. Some of these might include; relationship struggles, financial debt, the loss of loved ones, social isolation and so many others.
The point I am making is that you cannot grow without having markers, like these, to keep you on course.
This leads me to the reason for writing this. For the past week I have experienced my first boil. Some of you may know what that is. Some of you may have heard about boils from the bible. It was one of the ten plagues in Egypt. Those of you who haven’t, allow me to illuminate you. If you have a weak stomach, this may push you over the edge but in order to serve the purpose of explaining the lesson, some depth of detail needs to be explored.
I’ve spent the past week researching this ‘thing’ I have. I have looked on Google, asked a friend, looked in a health book that I own and looked on Google again. I discovered that people who get boils are carriers of a type of staphylococcal bacteria. This was a slight blow to my ego, when I discovered this, as I wondered to myself – ‘Is this just the beginning?’ Will I be a boil creating person for the rest of my life?
After adjusting from my initial shock that I’m harbouring a harmful bacteria, I wanted to know exactly what was going on with my body. As you can probably tell, I’m quite curious. So, my exploration took me deeper into the cavernous realms of my little friend. It seems that this bacteria can travel down a hair follicle or enter into the skin through various other means and start wreaking havoc. Once it has invaded, an infection starts to develop. What that means is, I developed what some people refer to as a blind pimple. You know the ones that hurt like hell but you can’t do anything about? The ones where you just have to grin and bare it? Well that’s where it all began. Little did I know, that this blind pimple would become something else. A whole new adventure in my life.
You might be wondering, at this point, what the lesson is in all of this. Bare with me. I’m getting there.
After a couple of days of my research, finally figuring out what I have and grinning and baring it, I decided to take my first bit of action. Out of pure frustration and irritation with my body, and against my own moral code, I went to the pharmacy to buy some Dettol and Polysporin – the ‘anti’ bacterial avengers. I came home, ran a hot bath, poured in 4 capfuls of Dettol and let things come to head, so to speak. The Polysporin was there, just in case all hell broke lose and I needed to do clean up.
That wasn’t as effective as I wanted it to be, so I then asked myself two very useful questions. How is this demon boil serving me and what would be the downsides be if it didn’t take up residence on my arse? I thought to myself – “there is no way this thing is helping me. It’s causing me pain and discomfort. How can something that creates so much irritation be helpful?” After about 2 hours, I managed to get through answering these questions. Magically, my emotional charge dissipated and I started feeling grateful for my new resident. It had taught me something that I’d be thinking about for a while, but hadn’t taken action on yet. More on that soon.
Once I had completed this exercise I set for myself, I then ramped up the treatments. I had two more Dettol baths and, after some research and chatting to a genius healer, it was time for the next step. Just so you know, before I went down this path, I tried Chamomile tea bags and tomatoes.
I discovered that onions are one of the most amazing healers around so I grabbed one, chopped it until no more chopping could be done, added some salt to it, placed it on a wound pad and wrapped it on tight. The instructions were to leave it on for two hours. My wife wasn’t too excited with this decision of mine. I stunk! For those of you out there who have ever thought of giving yourself some space from someone in your life, stick an onion on you and you’ll be good to go.
The onion solution was tried and tested twice and it certainly started to bring things to a head. The lesson revealed itself on the second trial. I was lying on the couch, reading an inspiring book about becoming an entrepreneur, when I fell asleep and almost went into a meditative state. I lay there wondering what this boil represented about my life, symbolically, and what everything I was doing to reduce it, meant to me on my journey.
In life, when we’re striving to achieve what we want, things can take time to come to a head. In fact, it often takes a lot longer than we expect it to. We sit there hating the process, feeling frustrated and irritated by the challenges we’re faced with and all we want to do is rush things along. As most of you may know, pushing yourself further than you can handle tends to bring about unsightly results. We land up feeling even more discomfort than we did before, we get stopped in our tracks and are forced by some feedback system to slow down and take one step at a time.
My lesson had these elements embedded within it but it also indicated something else that we all go through. When we take the time to open ourselves up, go on our journey and share who we are with the world, we can sometimes get caught in a trap where we introvert again and hold ourselves back. Usually this happens when we feel guilty about something we’re doing or have done or maybe because we’re judging our actions and intentions. At this stage of my journey, I did that. As a consequence, I grew a new best friend to alert me.
The challenge with allowing myself to get to this point, is that the process of revealing who I am and sharing myself again has been a painful endeavor. Boils, like acne or many other skin challenges have an undertone of anger. Depending on how much you hold yourself back, will depend on how angry and aggressive your feedback will be. Mine was a Mount Vesuvius type of response. When you consciously hold yourself back, you will land up developing the A,B,C,D’s of negativity. Anger and aggression, blame and betrayal, criticism and challenge and despondency, despair and depression.
So, the lesson of having a boil is – be who you are and don’t hide yourself away, no matter what comes your way. Otherwise you’ll create a new best friend just like I did.