I had a tooth extracted recently. The only tooth with a cavity that the dentist had been trying to save for more than 15 years, but the filling kept falling out every few years. Finally she tried an inlay but the tooth started to decay and the inlay fell out as well! It seems as if the tooth was taking time to mature. The healing and insights that have come through at this time, may not have happened if the tooth had been removed any earlier! I tried to work with this whole process quite consciously. I said goodbye to the tooth, I was grateful for how it had been serving me and hoped that I was able to let go of the tooth willingly. I made sure I received a Reiki treatment before the procedure and afterwards.

It was the last upper molar. It came out quite quickly and easily. When the dentist showed me the tooth afterwards, the roots of the tooth caught my attention. It felt as if something had been unplugged from the upper realm. It felt as if this had to happen to strengthen my roots in this realm, on Earth.

On the walk home from the dentist, it seemed as if the numbing of the anaesthetic was helping me remember how emotional numbing can help to avoid feeling pain. Just as the area around my tooth needed to be numbed to avoid feeling the pain of the tooth being released – the emotional numbing seems to have been protecting me from the pain of letting go of some past trauma. If part of me has been numb, I have not been doing something wrong, or not doing something I ought to have been doing. With this came acceptance of this part of me that has been numb, accompanied with a wave of peace.

The next day I realised that the healing I was experiencing was not just in the area of the wound, but my whole being was being healed. I realised that I have to be patient with this process and allow it all the time it needs. It was helpful to remember the Rumi poem – a wound is an opening for the light to come in.

I struggled for three days, not so much physically, more emotionally. On Saturday when I got home, and did not feel like doing much, it was a blessing to be able to rest with my Reiki hands on me. The next day I could also rest on my Yoga mat in a Restorative Yoga pose. The tooth was released with ease, the physical wound was not too bad. So I was struggling to understand why I was not able to function, why I was feeling so low.

The third day, it felt as if something moved inside me. I realised that I was resisting letting go of numbness that has been held within me. I realised that I have been avoiding feeling pain. I remembered that I have to be willing to feel the pain to be able to feel the joy of being alive, the joy of being in the body. I was sitting cross legged in meditation, it felt as if my sitting bones yielded deeper into the floor.

The whole experience has been so deeply insightful and healing that I can actually feel grateful for losing a tooth!  Deep gratitude to the tooth that sacrificed itself to enable me to experience this healing. Gratitude to my spiritual practices that help and support me to accept what is, learn and heal from how life is unfolding. Deeply grateful to all the people who supported me in this healing process.

Another Rumi poem feels very apt at this time:
Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.