How To Release the Brokenness We Carry in Our Hearts

Accepting Troubles image

It’s interesting how a single event can shoot the gates up around our hearts instantaneously and the choice to play the old records in our minds shifts into automatic.  Entire albums even.  Over and over again.  Stuck on repeat.

We sometimes work really hard to throw out those old records, narratives, stories. . . convincing ourselves of their untruths and we attempt to rewrite new, more compassionate songs, in hopes to slowly allow the gates to be drawn in order to feel again.  To love again.  And, to live in peace.  To open our hearts.

However, when an event occurs that cause us to revert back to what we thought we released, we know there is more to unearth, more to learn about ourselves and who we are.  More to grow and transform.  We are never finished releasing.

We all carry deep pain in our hearts and souls.  All of us.  It’s an “Open Secret“, Rumi calls it.  The human behaviors we display (and probably are not very fond of) are a result of that pain.  The workaholic overworks because his father told him he’d never amount to anything.  The alcoholic drinks to numb the pain carried from a high school coach who instilled the belief that he was just not good enough.  A teenage girl exercises obsessively to block the pain of the words of a boyfriend  that said she was gaining weight.  An angry boss yells because in his childhood, he was expected to do things right and if not, punishment followed.  Whatever the undesirable behavior is that we unconsciously display, it’s rooted from pain.  We even tend to live out this story.  These lies.

The wonderful gift that we humans have been given that no other animal species has, is to be able to go back to that pain, feel it,  acknowledge it, release it and then find a new truth.  This is how we rewrite our stories.  We can reopen our heart to others this way and change our behavior, rather than to live with a blocked heart, a stuck flow of energy.

Michael A. Singer, in The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, writes that energy that comes into us HAS to keep moving.  He tells us:

Long term, the energy patterns that cannot make it through you are pushed out of the forefront of the mind and held until you are prepared to release them.  These energy patterns, which hold tremendous detail about the events associated with them, are real. They don’t just disappear.  When you are unable to allow life’s events to pass through you, they stay inside and become a problem.  These patterns may be held within you for a very long time. We are either trying to push the energy away because it bothers us or we are trying to cling to it because we like it.

When you resist that release, the energy gets packed up and forced into deep storage within the heart.  In the yogic tradition, this is called a Samskara.

These Samskaras end up running your life.

If they build up sufficiently, you will find yourself in a state of depression.  Eventually, everything appears negative because the world of the senses must pass through this depressed energy before it gets to your consciousness. Even if we are not prone to depression, it builds up over time and gets blocked.  This affects how we live.

Singer shares, in his book, the process for releasing these blocks, or Samskaras.  It’s quite amazing.

Imagine these blocks in your heart as thorns.  Visualize them penetrating your heart and protruding all the way to the outside of your body.  They stick out.  Whenever someone, something, or an event brushes up against a particular thorn, it hurts.  That Samskara is being disturbed.  You have a few choices when this happens.  Well, first, you can prevent it from happening by avoiding any situation that might disturb the thorn. If we do this though, we are not living to the fullest.  We are living in fear.

What Singer suggests we do is to just be centered, conscious enough recognize when a thorn has been disturbed and  just watch the stuff come up.  Be aware of it.  Accept it.   And, then let it go.

This sounds easier said than done.

He tells us:

Just relax your heart, forgive, laugh, shift to gratefulness, do anything you want. Just don’t push it back down.  It’s gonna  probably hurt, but hopefully not for too long.  And then, it’s over.  You’ve let it pass through you.

This process happens over and over all the time.  The result is a constant open heart that allows the energy of love to flow .  You live in love, and it feeds and strengthens you.  This purification is a wonderful thing.

How do we start?

It starts the moment you accept what troubles you’ve been given.  Acceptance.  Not resistance to them.  It starts when we shift to gratitude rather than to dwell on the wrongness of a situation.  There is a secret treasure that lies waiting for us at the bottom of our most difficult times.  It starts when we recognize that everything that happens is not happening TO US.  It’s just happening.  It starts when we let go of the expectations of what we think our lives and others’ lives should go like.  It’s a journey of a lifetime.

Every shift in our life comes courtesy of the friendly forces; every catastrophe can hand us exactly what we need to awaken into who we really are.  It’s a lot easier to blame someone else, to rail against fate, or to shut down to the hopeful messages carried on the winds of change.  Please forgive me when I say that everything that happens to us in life is a blessing – whether it comes as a gift wrapped in happy times or as a heart break, a loss, or a tragedy.  It is true:  There is meaning hidden in the small changes of everyday life, and wisdom to found in the shards of your most broken moments.  At the end of a dark night of the soul is the beginning of a new life.  ~ Elizabeth Lesser

What are your Samskaras?  Can you let them go?

Or, are you going to hang on to them for dear life.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Learning From The Struggle

Image

There is a lot of pain in the world right now.  Loved ones are hurting.  Entire communities are confused and in shock.  Others are feeling too much – from others and from their own hearts hurting.  Some are worried and fearful of what is to come.  A dear soul lays still, hopeless, stuck, and not knowing which way to turn. Everywhere I turn, someone is carrying some kind of heavy load.

The cause of our pain is a result of countless reasons: physical illness, thoughts we play over and over in our minds and can not let go of, negative energy we accumulate in our bodies from others and from ourselves.

Every single one of us have been in this place.  And, yet, somehow, we paddle through to the other side.  If we are growing as spiritual beings, once we arrive on this other side, we recognize that we are changed.  We are not the same human we were before.

As I hop online today, I receive similar messages everywhere.

“Sometimes not only do you have to fall. . . but you have to hit ROCK BOTTOM to find out who you are, and who you want to become.”   ~Beth Shoutler

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”   ~proverb

 

“Just when go through a hard period,  When everything seems to oppose you,

When you feel you can not even bear one more minute,  Never Give Up.

Because it is the time and place that the course will divert.”   ~Rumi

These were just a few subtle shouts that these words needed to be heard today.  Not only for my ears, but for these other souls who are hurting, to bring understanding about our journey here on earth and that there is hope, for this too shall pass.

The real shift happens when we recognize these heavy moments. This place of despair means that something must change. Something. It wakes us up to dwell inward and ask for guidance about what it is that is meant to learn.  What is the newness that will evolve and birth itself?  Challenges are brought to us to teach us more about the truth of who we are.  We spirits, in human bodies are never done evolving on planet Earth School.

This sounds all poetic and easy to say, especially when you are in a good place at the moment.  Sometimes, recognizing what we’ve learned does not happen until we’ve dug out way out of the hole. Sadly, this makes the time in the hole long, dark and scary. We can’t be deciding to stay down here in the hole or it gets darker and darker. . . and harder to come out.

Instead, to quicken the process and benefit from the learning, it’s important to train your mind to think differently.  By the way, there are lots of ways to pull out of darkness (get into nature, exercise, watch a funny movie), but it’s the new understanding from that challenging place that must evolve for it to benefit you. Otherwise, you will end up right back in that same place, in a different situation, and not know why.

Here are some ways that I’ve learned to help myself move through a challenge and transform into a higher level of understanding about who I am:

1.  Ask yourself,

“Ok, who is not happy here?  Mind, body, heart or soul?”

We first have to narrow our pain to where it is coming from.  I have found many times that the root of my pain comes from my mind in focusing on obsessive thoughts that are pulling me down. Our mind can be our worst enemy and we need to immediately recognize when this happens.  I call my mind “Bernice”, so that I can separate it from “me” and quiet her more easily.  I am not my mind.  Meditate. Still the mind.

Sometimes, it’s my body that is not happy.  My body is named “Joy” for the joy it brings me when it is at optimal levels.  We all know that lack of exercise and eating unhealthy are going to effect you.  Illness will swirl you into gloom (especially if you let your mind get it’s way and tell you that the pain will never end or you are going to die).  When our body is not ok, that means something is wrong and we need to fix it.  Paying attention to the subtle signs our body gives us will help us to prevent bigger challenges later on.

Meet “Rose”.  She’s my heart.  Maybe it’s your heart that is hurting. A person in your life has left and there is an emptiness there.  Or, perhaps your heart has been closed to stay protected.  Someone has hurt your heart too many times, so you think best not to open it and allow love to flow through. If it’s your heart, you will know. You feel pain there – or you feel nothing.  Sometimes the love we need to open our hearts to, is to ourselves.

It may be your soul.  Your soul is who you truly are (it makes sense that I name my soul “Shari”).  Your soul is your truth and purpose – what God put you on this earth for.  If your soul is not being heard and you are not living your truth, your soul suffers.  This purpose inspires us and feeds us.  Your purpose may be teaching, or healing others.  It might be creating beauty for the earth. Perhaps it’s to be an advocate for nature.  If you do not know what your purpose is, spend time with this.  If you do, analyze whether you have been living it or not.

Your mind, body, heart and soul (I call them my friends) need to agree with each other – or align.  My dear friend, Bridgette Doerr, a women’s empowerment coach, taught me this through our coaching sessions.  One of “the 4 friends” can not be overpowering all the time or you will find yourself in a state darkness over and over.

2.  Be an observer of your emotions, feeling, judgements or beliefs about a challenging situation and ask the question,

“What do I need to learn from this?”

This is huge.  Once we choose to allow our emotions and mind to take over, we spiral into a dark cloud uncontrollably.  This magnifies the moment we tell the story over and over again as it intensifies with each retelling and becomes harder to let go of to see the other side.  By being able to breathe through the emotions and ask ourself what the learning is, we can come to an understanding as to why God gave you this challenge.

3.  Again, be an observer of an event, words said, emotions felt and ask yourself,

“What do I need to let go of?”

This is the highest form of reflection and conscious awareness and takes practice (eternally).  I wish I could say I can always do this, but I am such a work in progress.

In Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, Singer talks about making challenges and struggles a game, especially when we feel strong emotions or judgements surface. The goal is to release all old negative narratives that drag us down.  If we believe that each day is an opportunity to allow these old stories, or samskaras (in yogic terms), to be released, we can just be a silent observer of when the emotion arises and then determine if it is attached to a old negative story that we live by.  If it is, YAY!!!  All you have to do is to acknowledge it and breathe through it – let it pass right through you and release it forever.  I like to say a little good bye prayer when another one bites the dust.  Yes, it sounds easy.  It honestly is.  But, you have to pay attention.

Know that you are meant to learn about yourself every day through your trials, twists, turns, bumps and bruises.  If life was as smooth as cupcakes, how would we grow?

Shari 🙂

A song just for you ~ Press On 

A Pinterest Board just for you ~ Transformation

An after addition:  If you are in crisis, turn directly to God.  A Tribe Writer friend, Dayna Bickham wrote about this today in a very  powerful post about tools you need to survive in a crisis.