Phlegm is not a part of who you are—but you have some, don’t you? We all do. A certain small amount might even be considered healthy. Sometimes we have more phlegm, sometimes less. We tend to have more when we’re sick, or if the air is filthy. But none of us mistake our phlegm for who we are.
Yes, I know, phlegm is gross. But it’s important to understand.
Often, conditions like “allergies,” which mimic crying in their symptoms (teary eyes, runny nose, phlegm, etc.) are not caused by our environment, but by unexpressed negative emotion within us, which can be triggered by an environmental condition. Whatever emotion we do not express at the time we feel it (from day one!) remains within us—until we release it. If we don’t, it releases itself—through conditions like “allergies,” sinus infections, bronchitis, and many others. The environment (including pathogens) can trigger these conditions, but the inner cause remains.
In general, emotional health = physical health.
Imagine meeting someone who is sick and deciding, “I don’t like that person. He has way too much phlegm!” Would this be fair? Not even “fair”—would this becorrect? Would we be right in doing so, or would we be making a mistake in judgment?
Negativity is like phlegm. It’s so much like phlegm that releasing negativity on an emotional level almost equals releasing phlegm (and other fluids, like tears, sweat, and saliva) on a physical level. Let me repeat that: (emotional) negativity corresponds to (physical) phlegm! Phlegm is literally a physical manifestation of an emotional problem. Have you ever gotten sick with a cold or “allergies” at a time when you were enduring a lot of “stress” (negative emotion)? I have.
I’m not saying that all phlegm is because of negative emotion. For example, if it’s cold outside, my nose tends to run. If I work around a lot of dust, I tend to cough. I’m saying that in the same way that we produce phlegm in response to cold or dust, we also produce it in response to emotional irritants and negativity.
We can cry out (emotional) negativity in the same way that we cough up dust to get out (physical) irritants! Have you ever cried so hard that you cough? That’s a very good sign of release. Some religious traditions say that demons come out through coughing or vomiting when they leave the body. Indeed, is there a difference? Negativity is negativity, in my view.
Negativity is emotional sickness, in the same way that phlegm is physical sickness. To judge someone based on his negativity is like judging a man with a cough or runny nose—because he has a cough or runny nose.
While considering this, though, it’s important to understand that a man who is in negativity is contagious in the same way that a man who has a cold is contagious. We can still suffer, ourselves, from the effects of his sickness while he is sick—the sickness can spread to us. When negativity is gone, though (like when a cold is over), he is well again. Negativity, when it leaves us, goes with a release of phlegm, taking the emotional sickness with it.
Negativity is no more a part of who we are than phlegm is. It only afflicts us when we are sick with it, and only until we get well again.
(written in 2009)