“You come to this place, mid-life. You don’t know how you got here, but suddenly you’re staring fifty in the face. When you turn and look back down the years, you glimpse the ghosts of other lives you might have led; all houses are haunted. The wraiths and phantoms creep under your carpets and between the warp and weft of fabric, they lurk in wardrobes and lie flat under drawer-liners. You think of the children you might have had but didn’t. When the midwife says, ‘It’s a boy,’ where does the girl go? When you think you’re pregnant, and you’re not, what happens to the child that has already formed in your mind? You keep it filed in a drawer of your consciousness, like a short story that never worked after the opening lines.”
~ Hilary Mantel, Giving Up the Ghost
And the drawer of your consciousness where you keep things filed is the spine. How we learn to love and what love is comes from our past. Is love pleasing people even if it means giving up our self-respect or self-worth? Is love about beating yourself up over the past and feeling guilty in an attempt to make others happy? However we learned to love and feel worthy and a part of, these patterns of perception, reaction, behaviour, neuro-chemicals is all mediated through the spine.
So Dr. Tony, does that mean that the tension patterns in my spine are related to how I perceive myself and others, how I love and allow myself to be loved by others? YES. And by changing how the spine holds itself, by changing the tension patterns, this enables you to change how you love and are loved. You can’t change the past, what you did, or didn’t do, but you can change your relationship with the past by changing your spine. It is possible to give up the ghost, make friends with it and lay it to rest.