Just recently I had the opportunity to watch Manoa Valley Theatre’s production of the musical, “Allegiance.” This musical portrayed what happened in the Japanese interment camp after Peal Harbor was bombed, and focused on a family and other individuals whose lives were impacted by the incarceration.

I am humbled and a bit ashamed that although being a fourth generation of Japanese-American descent, that I was literally clueless to what happened to the Japanese-Americans after Pearl Harbor was attacked. Even the American history class I took in high school glossed over the mental and emotional anguish, and betrayal that many Japanese-Americans felt when they had their properties, businesses, and lives that they knew, stripped away based upon race. I realize now that it was easier to stay ignorant instead of digging further to learn about how poorly the Japanese-Americans were treated during this dark period.

Although I was brought to tears repeatedly throughout the performance, I was impressed by how balanced this musical was in the presentation. This musical was all about bringing awareness to the viewers of what happens to a person when they are faced with following their heart and owning their truth.

The truth about serving in the armed forces and choosing to show an allegiance and patriotism to America, the very country that forced their family into internment camps, was an act of pure courage. While the opposing truth of standing up for your ideals, choosing not to join the armed forces, then being forced into barely inhabitable concentration camps, and being incarcerated, was just as courageous.

There was no bashing of America in the musical, it was about humanity, and how important it is to be true to yourself and to know where you stand in your life and how you choose to live.

The most impressionable statement came from the lead actor’s grandfather who told him, “A son follows the word of his father, but a man follows his heart.” The grandfather wanted his grandson, who was choosing to go against his father’s wishes and serve in the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, to follow his truth.

This statement is truly powerful and profound; it can be applied to anyone truly. When you truly follow what lies deep inside of your heart and inner knowing, is when you are in total alignment. Being aligned in your life’s purpose will also show up in an aligned spine.

What I have observed in the past 19 years of practice, is how body pains, health conditions, and health crises are expressed when an individual’s truth and purpose is challenged. When you are able to stay aligned and deal with the stressors that are creating a disturbance in your life, ease and peace results. Knowing your truth and what you stand for allows you to step forward in your life even if a presumed authoritative figure says otherwise.

By trusting your intuition and being aware of what elements in your life are creating the tension in your body, gives you the opportunity to make a shift and change. Many times increased awareness of who or what situations are challenging you, may be extremely uncomfortable. The old idiom, “Ignorance is bliss,” may go a long way, however true awareness empowers you to make a choice and take action. Increased awareness and identifying your inner truth is key to insuring that you can be at ease, not only in your life, but in your body as well.