When I read Eat, Pray, Love, I had a very different understanding (or maybe not different) of the idea about smiling in your liver. I didn't take it to mean that you smile with your entire being, though that was one element to the larger picture. Why smile in your liver as opposed to your bladder (too busy churning out that urine?) or stomach (too busy digesting that burrito from last night?) or even your heart?
Actually, Ketut may have meant your heart, but not having him in front of me to retranslate, I'll tell you how I've been processing Liz's recording of liver.
I first heard about this idea of smiling in your different organs from an ex-boyfriend (truly, we haven't even scratched the surface of my dating tales of woe). One night, we were at a bookstore and he told me in this matter-of-fact manner that he didn't orgasm anymore. Correction--he did orgasm (in fact, this practice gave him multiple orgasms at once), but instead of going for the full release, he took that energy (and sperm?) and sent it skyrocketing up his spine and out the top of his head.
"Isn't that called blue balls?" I asked.
He gave me a book on Taoist sex principles which, strangely enough since you can find connections wherever you look, is written by a proponent of liver smiling as well as Chi Nei Tsang, an abdominal massage that releases the anger, frustrations, and grief we have stored in our abdomen (read: liver).
My brother is fond of sweetly reminding me of a local church sign, "bitterness destroys the vessel that contains it" because I am the one who cannot let something go. I will relive the same conversation in my mind 1000 times, bringing myself directly back to the same anger, frustration, sadness I felt when the words were first said. I can literally make myself cry replaying conversations that are twenty years old. I bruise easily AND I never heal--a terrible combination (though the inverse is that I care deeply--especially about others--so it's a toss up about how much you want to mess with the system).
When I read that line in Eat, Pray, Love, I was reminded of Monsieur Blue Balls and his grinning liver. We had many a terrible fight and the anger compounded--I wasn't just angry with situation D, but also brought back my anger from situation A, B, and C. He asked me to try his form of meditation and I even went so far as to go to an initial workshop (except there was a cricket in the room and I simply couldn't stay). For whatever reason, this man brought out a fury in me like no other.
The same is not true for Josh. When he frustrates me (which, you know, never happens because he is perfect), it remains in the moment and once we resolve the argument, I never carry that anger with me. And the same is true for some friends, though not others. And some family members and not others. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to why some people bring out the compounded anger; the bile that I cannot let go through my spine or any other energy passage, and others give me...for lack of a better term...the full release.
As I was reading the book, I was thinking about the fact that I actually need to deal with my liver right now. That I am continuously negotiating a relationship with a few people who bring out that compounded bile. I can feel the anger each time we communicate, I can feel the anger in between each communication, and the smallest statements tie back to those larger transgressions even though no connection exists between them whatsoever except that the reason for the anger (most notably, the way we communicate) is the same each time.
Were horrible things said? Yes.
Were my feelings dismissed? Yes.
Was I treated crappily? Yes.
Can I get over it? No.
Should I get over it? Probably.
By which I mean, yes, I do need to get over it--if not for them then for myself because I waste so much energy being angry.
I've been trying to remember this book whenever I feel the bile start bubbling. It is not a conscious exercise where I sit down and force myself to smile (I took, of course, smiling in my liver to mean taking that angry frown and turning it upside down). Instead, I just think about the book and how I need to control that anger, release it or get emotional blue balls.
Blue balls? How can that ever bring you to multiple orgasms?
Do you ever find yourself holding onto anger? Especially with certain people and not with others? Why do you think that is (is there a common factor between those certain people) and how do you release it?