I realized that the Day 9 question to ponder about being overly critical of yourself is tied in with an example of a symptom imperative so I thought I'd share again today. So my typical symptoms are arthritis related but without getting into too much history I get reoccurring infections in my right ear and mastoid. When I was pregnant with my son 17 years ago, I had a mastoidectomy, a procedure where they made an incision in my skull behind the ear to drain out infected fluid. These reoccurring infections were the reason I couldn't take the arthritis drugs. My son had to have open heart surgery at birth due to a heart defect caused by some of the drugs I took during pregnancy. Needless to say there has been lots to work with from all of this in therapy over the years especially guilt and my relationship with my son. Anyway, yesterday I realized that I had a bunch of gunk in my right ear and pain developed throughout the day. As my focus increased on my ear I realized that my arthritic symptoms were gone--my body felt great. As I always do in this situation, I think, "if only the ____ pain (ear yesterday) was gone, everything would feel perfect." And as always, I woke up this morning without ear pain but with the feeling that my knees are full of fluid as I felt before the ear pain. I hadn't even thought about an emotional connection but when I read the question about being overly self critical and I thought about connecting symptoms to emotions outside of my "Louise Hay box", I realized that I most definitely have been critical of my self in very recent situations with my son. I think that behavior is fueled by that old guilt and it makes so much sense that it would bring on the whole ear thing because he is so intertwined with those specific memories and emotions. I've worked so much with all of this in therapy and have felt like I had released all of that but I have a feeling once again that my body thinks differently. I have thought that the remedy for a situation like this is to be very present in my interactions and to pause and use my heart when I think, speak, listen and act. There must be more to it though--my body's still telling me so.