Think about the last time you hurt yourself... Maybe you dropped something on your foot, or cut yourself while cooking or "tripped". Maybe you were bitten by an insect on a beautiful day outdoors or came home with a sunburn... Did you know that all these scenarios contain meaning, messages about our thoughts, feelings and behaviors?
In the DSSI training, students learn about symbolism not only in dreams but also in everyday situations. When analyzing an injury, illness or even an "accident", several factors must be taken into account. First of all, we can look at the general setting: the time and place, what our thoughts or emotions were at the time of the injury. Depending on whether we hurt ourselves at the office during the work day or while out with friends at night, the interpretation will be different. Of course, we can always improve our safety in concrete ways, such as improving certain standards at work or equipping ourselves differently for different types of activities. However, even so, we can always understand the deeper meaning of an injury, what it brings us in terms of information on a symbolic level.
A sports session... too intense?
Here is an example based on the testimony of a DSSI student, who recently injured his calf during a group martial arts class. The fact that we get injured while exercising is related to our willpower, our drive. Because the injury occurred in a group setting, it is related to how the student relates to others and exchanges in a group setting. This is different from an injury during an individual activity, for example, which would indicate a tendency to push oneself individually.
Each part of the body also has its own symbolism. Some of these are probably intuitively known or can be understood, such as the connection of the throat with communication, our hands representing the way we give and receive, and the heart symbolizing the driving aspect of our life energy (the heart actually performing the function of a pump) which can also be related to the way we love. The Source Code dictionary is a fantastic resource for discovering the deeper meaning of signs and symbols. But even without this dictionary, if we don't know the meaning of something - in this case, a body part - it can be helpful to research it online. We can then take what we have learned about its physical properties and apply it as a symbol, a state of consciousness existing within us.
The leg: our way forward in life
The muscles of the upper leg are some of the largest and strongest in the body, so they are related to power and strength in the way we move forward. The calf, on the other hand, relates to propulsion - it literally pushes us forward when we take a step (this is the movement the student was doing when he tore his calf muscle). So while the legs generally represent how we move forward in action, the calves specifically represent our initial energy in that action. The calf muscles are also important for balance, posture and stability.
Even the left and right sides have specific meanings: the left side is related to the inner world and the right side to the outer world. In this case, it is the right leg that was injured, so it is a concrete, physical action, as opposed to a more figurative inner progression.
When the injury occurred, the students were standing in a circle - strengthening the bond with the group - around the teacher who had just explained a technique. She turned to our student and asked him to help her demonstrate. The student recalls that "at that point, I threw myself at her enthusiastically - too much so - and I got hurt. I wanted to do a good job in the eyes of my teacher, with whom I have a very good relationship and whom I admire, but also in front of the other students."
Here we can understand the student a little better in terms of memories: the experiences, thoughts and emotions that he carries within him, even unconsciously. Part of his being was in contact with memories of seeking approval, feeling of belonging and needing recognition. Sometimes this strong need pushes the student to take action too impulsively and too energetically. This can destabilize their progress and, paradoxically, end up blocking it.
If we can consider injuries as messages about the parts of ourselves that we need to work on, then the severity of an injury suffered corresponds to the urgency and intensity of the memories stored within. A simple scratch would indicate the existence of a small percentage to which the injured person must be attentive, as a small reminder to recalibrate their energy and attitude. In this case, although the injury could have been much more serious, the muscle tear disabled the student enough to realize the need to take stock and see what needed to be changed.
Having to go through the gradual recovery process with acceptance and patience brought to light other things to understand. "More than one of my training partners pointed out that my body insisted on resting," the student admits. "And I'm someone who always wants to do 'whatever it takes.' Having to do things more slowly also made me realize how often I rush through things."
Being injured can also, surprisingly, lead us to acknowledge or appreciate what we were previously unaware of, as the injury brings about a "forced" internalization compared to the overly emissive movement that leads to the injury. The student had to rely heavily on his training partners right after his injury, "I felt really well taken care of… it brought me closer together with this particular group" the student says. "In fact it helped me realize that it is Ok to rely on others, and it also felt good to share my feelings of gratitude."
Life in symbols... 🙂
The next time you find yourself with an injury, you may feel frustrated and think, "It's just one of those things that happens"... But look beyond that 🙂 . Accept it as an opportunity to reflect on all aspects of what happened, as well as the thoughts and feelings it brings up in you. Why did life create a limitation? Then you can work on transforming what is necessary to develop your qualities and improve yourself as a person, without dramatizing and doing your best internally and practically...