12. Upper Thighs
Thighs are the link between the hips & decisions, and the knees & pride. Very often, when we have made a decision and take the next step, pride gets in the way. “What if I look stupid? What if it’s not right? What if it doesn’t work out?” Our knees lock up or turn to jelly, and we are prevented from moving forward. The pain that begins in the Hips and shoots down the thigh (Sciatic Nerve), is the separation from our desire and decision to move forward and our Fear of falling flat on our ass. As per spiritual meanings behind physical aches, Louse Hay suggests that upper thigh problems represent retaining childhood trauma.
Knees represent Pride. In spiritual practice, it is suggested that one must go down before one can rise up, as Jesus did before John the Baptist, before taking up his own ministry. Pride or Ego keeps us from surrendering to the Will of God or the Universe. In practice, every time we move forward in life or approach change, we approach the unknown. We may feel vulnerable or unsure. We may stand still, stiffly kneed resisting the winds of change. It is interesting to note that stiff, sore knees are a symptom of kidney deficiency, whose emotion is Fear. Rather than admit our fear, we resist it until it overwhelms us. While knees represent pride, and it is said that ‘Pride goes before the fall’, knees can also represent humility which is the wisdom to be yielding in the face of change.
Briefly, knee problems may be said to indicate being stuck in the Ego, too proud to bend. Louise Hay also suggests that knees represent ‘Pride and the Ego’.
The shins represent another weak link. Although the shins are mostly bone, the hardest substance in the body, the shins are actually quite sensitive and brittle. A slight whack on the shins is not only painful, but it also weakens the entire body and stops it cold. When we have organized ourselves to move forward, to take the next step towards the goal we have set, and are in the process of taking it, something comes along and sends you tumbling. It is something we trip over because we don’t see it, even though it is right there in front of us. In ancient times the shin pads that worriers wore were called greaves.
Very often what trips us up is something, the loss of which we haven’t properly grieved. Moving forward always means something gets left behind. Interesting to note is that the three Yin channels of the foot all criss cross at Spleen 6 (Sanyinjiao), representing a confluence of worry, anger, and fear. Moving forward is often marked by a jumble of emotional responses that need to be sorted out, especially if we are resisting it. As per spiritual meanings behind physical aches, Louise Hay suggests that problems are fear of the future; not wanting to move ahead.
Ankles represent flexibility, which is important as one navigates the twists and turns of Life. Stiff, painful ankles mean that change is difficult for you. Maybe you are one who digs in your heels and resists moving forward. The more Life forces change upon you, the deeper you dig in. A broken ankle is a good sign to develop some flexibility in your Life. Louise Hay suggests that ankles represent mobility and direction.
Our feet represent our connection with Mother Earth. Sore, swollen, numb, or painful feet represent the state of our relation with our Mother. Mother Earth, and our base energies. While it is legs that carry us forward into life, it is the feet that actually make contact with the ground and can stop any advance, or at least make it difficult. In modern society with its asphalt, concrete, and High Rises, we lose touch with the Earth and its energies. This may be reflected in our relationship with the one who gave birth to us. Separation can cause real pain.
All the Leg Yin & Yang channels meet and flow into each other in the toes. This is an area of high energy and a strong effect on the body. This is an area where strong energies are in transition, so our contact with Mothers, Mother Earth, and our base energies is always ambivalent. We want to draw closer to that love, but at the same time move away on our own course.
In my experience, the feet often store toxic energies (as often to do with grief or resentments as not), as far away from the Heart as possible. This means, in the feet. Often, these are issues that go all the way back to childhood. Lacking the tools to effectively release grief or resentment the body stores it, like it stores fat. Over time, more and more toxic energies are stored here and fill up the receptacle.
In many cases, the entire leg can become involved and the waste starts leaking back into the system. This is a very serious situation indeed, that can lead to amputations, blood disorders, and even death, as the body struggles to protect the Heart. Metaphysically, it becomes clear that the space you are standing in is painful. The key is to move on. Stop dwelling on the past, release, or transform whatever it is that keeps you emotionally standing still. Based on his observation and understanding of spiritual meanings behind physical aches, Louise Hay suggests that feet represent our understanding of ourselves, of Life, and others and toes represent minor details of the future.