Staying in Your Heart is Not Always Easy!
How do you stay in your heart when you are bumping up against those parts of yourself that are so difficult? I am much more aware of these sticky heart situations recently for two reasons: one, I am more focused on recognizing this happening as it is occurring. It feels so darn draining and uncomfortable that my instinct is to run away, justify my reactions, or even worse, blame others. And two, I have just completed the Resilient Heart Trauma Certification program through HeartMath®.
When these events have happened in the past, I was not sure how to stop these exhausting, energy-depleting uncomfortable feelings and emotions that arise from these messy human interactions. A dear friend of mine with whom I shared this, told me just because you are working in the heart space does not mean you are able to stay in your heart. Hum, I just assumed that it was so, I guess. And she added, “We are just stinkily human, you know imperfect, duh!” And she added, “we do and say stupid things and we don’t do it on purpose.” I nodded my head in agreement. I was starting to get back into heart coherence. I thought to myself, we are all trying to be in our heart at least as far as we understand what that means at the moment. And that we can all do better and learn from these interactions.
Here is what gets in the way of me staying in my heart. Can you relate to any of these?
Perceptions: They are like sunglasses we view everything through, according to NY Times best-selling author Mark Nepo. What I learned: Taking off those glasses occasionally helps us see things from a different viewpoint. Reminding myself that everyone is wearing their own glasses affecting their perceptions allows me to develop more compassionate latitude (read more here) .
History: Whatever traumas each of us has experienced in our lives, color our views and affect our abilities to deal with current triggering events, some of which we are not even aware of. Back to my personal example, having step-siblings who I felt bullied me still brings up subconscious feelings of being picked on or diminished in some of my current interactions, fifty years later.
I am so grateful for my HeartMath® practices and friends who gently guided me to see that I was right back in that place of being the little girl in a large, unforgiving family. What I learned: Recognize the trigger, acknowledge it, forgive your child self and work on letting go through breathing practices and other mindful techniques such as journaling, and somatic movements.
Ego: This is a tricky one. It is often tough to distinguish what is coming from our ego and what is coming from our heart-brain because when we strongly believe something, we get very attached to these thoughts and they become for us the “absolute truth”. Do not get me wrong, we all need our ego. But aligning our heart with the parts of our brain that are likely to make better executive decisions is like getting a second opinion. What I have learned so far in this area that I need lots of work on this one. So I will keep practicing my HeartMath® tools like Quick Coherence® and Coherent Communication® before, during, and after sticky heart situations. I am also giving myself compassion because I am just “stinkingly” human you know. Other skills I am learning are to forgive myself, not run away, but work on facing the uncomfortable feelings and resolving them with myself and others, and finally, releasing them before they join up with the old hurts deep inside my body that have caused illness and will continue to if I do not let them go.
The Bottom Line
We are all works in progress. I feel so blessed to be part of a community of Heart-based practitioners that are all working on this together. One other interesting piece of advice I learned this week, if you keep bumping up against the same situation over and over, it is possible that you still have more lessons to learn. I guess I will keep my ears, eyes, and mind open as I ask my heart for more wisdom in our beautiful, imperfect lives. Namaste, Andrea
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If you are struggling with healing and have tried everything, you might just need to support your healing by practicing life-changing HeartMath® techniques.