Natural Awakenings Twin Cities February 2022
Read the full February 2022 Magazine
Featuring: Minding the Heart and Sacred Sexuality Intimacy as a Healing Force
As I prepared this month’s Heart-Centered Living issue, I am reminded of a time (not that long ago) when I believed that positive thinking was the cure to all that ails us. Please don’t get me wrong, I am a strong proponent of a positive attitude, but I spent decades of my life glossing over “negative” emotions in an attempt to feel better mentally, physically and spiritually. Whether I felt anger, frustration, sadness or grief, I would tell myself to not look at those emotions and instead focus on the positive things in my life. I would suppress anything that didn’t feel good to the point of using food and alcohol to numb myself so I did not have to face those emotions.
The funny thing is those feelings never went away. They were always there—lurking just below the surface ready to rise up—sometimes in the most inopportune moments. I convinced myself that one day I would do the work, face the pain and fear, but it wouldn’t be today. Today there wasn’t time, and I simply didn’t have the energy. So, I suppressed and numbed and before I knew it, 20 years had passed. My son had grown up never getting to see me have a healthy relationship with my emotions.
I am naturally a thought-centered person. That is until 10 years ago when I decided to feel all the feelings, good and bad. It was scary at first as I had convinced myself it was going to be hard to do my healing work. I started by reminding myself that I had to feel it in order to heal it. What I discovered was that it was not as bad as I imagined, though it was still messy. Along the way, I hurt people I loved, I was not gentle on myself or on others, and I made some terrible mistakes. But I have started to heal, and with this healing I am able to show up in a more significant way for my friends, family and colleagues.
Unlike me, many of my loved ones are more heart-centered and live their lives from a raw emotional state, reacting to every negative emotion. This is just as destructive. We all must learn to find the balance of tapping into our emotions and logically evaluating the circumstances.
There are many things in life we would like to change primarily because we think it will bring us more happiness and joy. By accepting and allowing what “is” rather than knee-jerk negative responses, we are better able to maintain the very thing we all crave: Peace (grown-up Love) and Joy, emanating from within and spreading out from within.