The other day I ended up with a poison ivy rash. It started as what looked like a spider bite, which I was sure came from the spider I noticed hanging around my bedroom. A few bumps appeared overnight, and I itched them like crazy, and they slowly started to spread up my forearm, then managed to jump to my other forearm. PECULIAR!
I mentioned it to a friend, and she said, “Girl, that’s poison ivy.” I’ve made it my entire life without having a poison ivy rash which slightly blows my mind because I am confident I have come in contact with poison ivy at least several times in my life. I have lived in a tent in the woods, rolled around in the forest, blindly picked up leaves to wipe my ass while hiking, and climbed many random trees, and I figured after making it this long without having a (poison ivy) rash, I was immune. But the itch is powerful and runs deep, and no, I am not immune. This itchy experience got me curious and observant of myself and my body, so I want to offer some possible energetic perspectives, curiosities, and lessons learned from the poison ivy rash on this 34-year-old body.
I like to approach all (new) bodily experiences with curiosity, wonder, and possible theories about why, how, or what. I don’t claim to be correct, but what does it matter? Curiosities expand the mind and offer room for clues and guidance.
So, as I mentioned, I have never had a poison ivy rash, but I have come in contact with poison ivy plants throughout my life. Maybe never with such direct contact as recently when I was weeding around the elderflower trees where I live, but I can’t say that I haven’t either. Okay, there is no way to measure my contact with poison ivy leaves throughout my lifetime, but let me share my process for a moment here.
When I get curious about the energetics of an ailment or something new going on with my body, I often turn to the book HEAL YOUR BODY by LOUISE HAY. This book addresses thought patterns that can precede physical experiences in the body while offering affirmations that offer possible healing for said physical experiences. I never take the book as absolute certainty or fact. It’s not my bible, but also I have never read the bible, but I consider Hay’s research and see how the words resonate.
I have an electronic version of this book on my phone, and I searched POISON IVY to see what she says about the possible thought patterns/ energetic patterns around having a poison ivy rash. I was pleased to see that poison ivy is even in this book. Not every bodily discomfort or ailment is included. The probable cause is “feeling defenseless and open to attack.” (p. 57)
Hm. Does this mean a physical attack? Verbal attack? Cyber Attack? Do the exact details matter?
I have been working through my fear of being attacked though I won’t go into detail. This fear has existed in different chapters of my life, and It has popped up again. So is this book “Heal your Body” onto something here?
I use this book and consider its words and allow it to offer a perspective when reflecting on my life and discovering areas that could potentially use attention or healing. That’s it. I don’t have to get rigid with myself. If what the book offers me doesn’t align, I don’t have to pretend it does. But in this case, it was pretty aligned. It usually is.
Hayes says that by changing our thinking patterns, we can change our experiences. Our experiences include the body’s experiences.
Here is what I think of it. When I come in contact with someone with a cold, does this mean I will come down with a cold? No. If I come in contact with someone with the flu, does this guarantee that I will end up with the flu? No. I might, but it’s not guaranteed. My susceptibility depends on me and where I am mentally, physically, and emotionally. Does this apply to poison ivy, too? Maybe. It’s something I can consider, and it’s how I am approaching this experience with poison ivy for the first time at 34 years old.
I always consider different symptoms in the body as a time to level up my life, check in with myself, and see where I am at and where I want to go. Whether it’s a sprained ankle, the flu, poison ivy, headaches, or anything else, it’s an opportunity. It’s an opportunity to ask myself how I feel. It’s a chance to check how I have been living, treating, and caring for myself. These moments of discomfort are times to get clear and take a closer look at thought patterns, stress levels, lifestyle, etc.
Regarding my thought pattern around being attacked, there is no denying that I have been confronting this fear. In some ways, I have been avoiding working through this fear, too. Is this rash a reminder to revisit the inner work to navigate this thought pattern? I’d say yes. Is it an easy journey? I’m not saying that, but it is a journey I can go on if I so choose.
Our body is always communicating with us. We get to listen to what it tells us. We can empower, educate, and support ourselves with the information our body shares with poison ivy or anything else.
I’m taking this rash as a clue to keep up the inner work and keep listening to my body. I’m doing great, honey. 😉 So are you.
So what did I learn from this experience with the poison ivy rash?
- Learn to identify a poison ivy plant.
- When weeding areas with poison ivy, wear long sleeves.
- If I can avoid itching the rash, do so because that baby will spread.
- When someone offers anti-itching cream, say yes! Receive the offering.
- Even poison ivy rash can show us insight into the body, our thoughts, and life as we know it.
What do you think about my approach to poison ivy rash? Do you have a similar approach to physical symptoms?