As a child, Angie was subjected to years of ongoing abuse. No-one stood up for her; no-one protected her; the main abuser was a 'beloved uncle', and Angie's parents simply wouldn't hear a word against him.
Angie got no validation, no support and certainly no acknowledgement of what she was going through.
Fast-forward a few decades, and the now grown-up Angie got sent a number of very difficult circumstances that made her realize she had to go back and deal with what had happened to her as a child.
She did all the right things: she found a counsellor; she enrolled in group therapy; she stuck with the program for a couple of years, waiting for the magic moment when the 'breakthrough' would come, and she'd at last be free of her onerous past.
But that didn't happen.
What happened instead, is that Angie found herself constantly reliving her trauma, and her sense of helplessness, worthlessness and shame, with her therapists constantly telling her that 'once she found her voice, and started to stand up for herself', her problems would disappear and life would be great.
So Angie did as she was told, and tried to 'find her voice'. She started angrily bossing her children around; she started aggressively demanding things from her husband; she set some very big standards of behaviour for the people around her - and slowly, slowly, she started to alienate everybody.
Let's be clear that firm boundaries and reasonable expectations are a wonderful thing. The problem was not that Angie was starting to recognize her own needs and to express them; the problem was that she was looking for the solution to 'having no voice' in the wrong place.
The only person who was ever going to truly enable Angie to get her voice back was…Angie herself.
But before that could happen, a few things had to change. The first, and main, change is that Angie had to put God back in the picture. Practically speaking, that meant that instead of viewing herself purely as being a 'victim', Angie had to somehow come to the understanding that the fact that she'd endured such a huge test actually showed her spiritual strength.
God never sends a person a challenge they can't stand up in, even though at the time you're sure it's going to break you into pieces. And the truth is that if you don't have God in the picture, your challenges can break you very easily.
Angie started working on developing an honest relationship with God, where she spoke to Him regularly, and told Him everything on her mind - including how angry she was at Him, for giving her such a terrible childhood.
Once she'd reconnected back to God, the next part of the equation was for Angie to start reconnecting back to her true self. And I'll tell you more about that in the next post.
A week before Passover, I came down with a really bad cough. It was so bad, I was up in the night for five days' solid, coughing my guts out, and I started to wonder if I'd developed pneumonia, God-forbid.
It kind of half went away over the week of Passover itself, but then it roared back with a vengeance, and I started to feel really run down and ill again.
Now, one of the main reasons I started JEMI is because I wanted to share all the things I've learned about how your soul and your emotions directly impact your health - and here, God gave me a real-time example.
Whenever I was doing business development stuff, my throat would feel like it was closing up, and I'd start getting the cough, or the proverbial frog-in-the-throat. Whenever I started worrying about paying the rent, my throat would go funny. Whenever I started discussing future plans, the throat would go, and I'd start to feel distinctly unwell.
It took weeks for the penny to drop, that I didn't just have a chest infection: God was trying to send me some important message, here, and if I wanted to start feeling better, I needed to try to work it out.
What's the message?
First, I talked to God about it all, and I got a little bit of clarity - but I could feel that I was still missing some big part of the subconscious picture.
So then, I did a TAT session focussing on the problem that I had a cough, and my throat was hurting.
Ten minutes later, I started to get a load of insights flooding up: the throat is directly connected to your self-expression, and your purpose in life. These are both areas that have been pretty challenging for me recently.
But that wasn't all. The throat is also the bridge between your intellect and your heart. When you're telling yourself that you believe something, or think a certain way, when you don't actually really believe it in your heart, one of the first places that dissonance affects is your throat.
So then I started asking God for a clue to show me: what ideas or beliefs was I paying lip-service to, that was affecting my throat so badly?
The throat is connected to self-expression
A few minutes later, I had an answer: I've been through a very challenging few years recently, including a failed business, massive financial issues that forced the sale of my home, and a move to a completely different city and environment.
Now, I'm picking up the pieces, and trying to move forward again.
I thought I'd dealt with all the massive challenges I'd had, and accepted that they were all for the best. And it's true, I had - but only in my head.
But in my heart?
There was a different vibe going on. In my heart, I was still feeling pretty traumatised, betrayed and distrustful. Somewhere deep, deep down, I realized that I don't trust God to come through for me, and to actually help me turn things around and start to build my life again.
Every time I was working on my new business, or writing my new book, a little internal voice was piping at me: "There's no point. It's just going to end in failure again. You're just wasting your time, doing this."
Mentally, I was trying to shut it up, and not pay any attention to it - which is why it was getting all 'stuck' in my throat.
Remember, your throat is connected to self-expression and sense of purpose.
Wow! Who knew?
Now, the question is what do you do with all that information? How do you resolve the gap between what you want to believe, and what you're actually feeling?
There's one answer, and only one answer: Ask God for help.
In the meantime, as soon as I got the message, my throat started to feel much, much better.
There may be more parts to the message, who knows. But I got the installment I needed to get for now, and also some insight into what they're really talking about, when they say that you need to 'cough things up'.
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