No more playing Invisible, Hide ‘N’ Seek, or Catch Me if You Can!
It takes Courage to Love and right now, my heart is sore. I’m hitting up against walls, heart walls.
I crave intimacy.
My defenses crumble. My heart cracks open.
Joy and pleasure demand more room in my heart.
Love expands me. I take up more space.
I make more sound. I cry more.
It takes Courage to Love.
I am falling in love with me who is falling in love.
What sounds do I make when my Heart is Open?
I breathe in contentment.
My voice is soft.
My jaw relaxes. I salivate. My lips are soft and wet. I round out vowels and consonants.
I speak slow and melodic.
Listening to my Heart is ALOT slower than listening to my mind. A Shaman in San Antonio, Texas said to me:
Close your eyes.
Your eyes go straight to your head and play tricks on you.
Open your ears.
Your ears go straight to your Heart.
Listen to your Heart,
not your Mind.
It takes patience to listen to my heart when it hurts! It’s like learning a new language.
I listen to my intuition:
Your heart contracts in pain. Your heart is tightly bound up with thick layers of scar tissue. Sensations come through delayed and distorted.
Pause. Reflect. No need to react.
Breathe deep into your belly. Your heart softens and expands now that you’re cracking open. Yes. Your wall is cracking.
Now speak with your heart open.
(Usually it’s just one syllable.)
Geez! Just one word-
That’s all I need to say when I’m hurting and don’t know what else to say?
When I hear someone else say “Ouch!” Literally I’m all ears. Willing and compassionate.
As a ‘tough kid’ I made some strong promises to protect myself.
What I thought was holding my heart up has been holding me down.
Instead of free of pain, I’ve been caged.
My defenses have strict rules:
“Do not desire anything that you can’t control.” Especially home, family, security.
“You can take my Body, but you can’t take my Soul.” It’s easy to check out and dis-engage from any scene if I don’t like what’s going on. Besides, No one is really counting on me.
“Be vague and aloof and then No One gets hurt.” Namely- Me.
I built this wall around me. Brick by brick so that by the time I was 9 years old, you couldn’t hurt me. My wall proved to work. I survived physical abuse, neglect, and starvation. My older brothers didn’t seem to fare as well. At 9 years old I believed “They must have been too soft.”
My Motto: “I’m tough. I’m too smart for that. You can’t touch me on the inside.”
I trained my ears and eyes to protect me from getting hurt. Growing up hitch hiking, hanging out in bars, and living on the streets, I developed a sharp intuition. To this day voice inflection, posture, even the smell of pain and anger make me duck and hide. My skill for perceiving distress is Hyper Developed. I can smell Anger, Sadness, Anxiety, Grief a mile away. Gestures like furrowed eye brows, tense jaws, clenched fists, slumped shoulders, rubbing forehead, wringing hands, leaning backward or shallow breathing are neon signs blinking ‘beware’.
The Sounds of Pain and Distress are Loudest.
The slightest change in a person’s voice speaks volumes! Pitch, tone, rhythm of speech floods my auditory field. Sometimes I can barely hear the words. The sound of emotion drowns out the content.
I am quick to interpret your non-verbal gestures. And I Dash- Dart- Duck- Dive or Dodge- without you even noticing. You know, emotionally disappear while acting like I’m engaged. I am sad to admit that with 12 years of therapy and a Master’s Degree in Psychology, I believed my emotions were invisible. My Totem Animal is Opossum! I really thought I could play dead. Until a housemate said to me:
“Carola, when you think you’re invisible, you suck the oxygen out of the room!”
Turning attention toward pleasure and joy is real Mastery. I spent a weekend in a ‘Rivers of Joy’ Family Constellation workshop with Stephen Victor. I discovered that I’m lonely behind my wall. Aloof and arrogant may keep me from having a broken heart, yet it is exhausting to maintain.
My innocence desires authentic connection.
My integrity requires me to be congruent with my word.
A few years ago I taught obese children and their families healthy eating at the YMCA. By simply showing up, the parents demonstrated that they loved their children. I had to follow their love muscle. I couldn’t follow what my mind ‘saw’ which was – parents feeding their kids junk food. Following my heart, listening to my heart, I let love lead. I was able to engage them and build trust and build relationship. I had to demonstrate compassion. They followed. I had to show them my heart-that led them to their heart. My heart was naked and exposed.
Vulnerability clears a room full of arrogance.
It takes Courage to Love.
Courage to Love requires a soft heart.
Courage to Love requires I drop defenses.
Courage to Love means I feel alive! Joy! Pleasure! and Pain.
A soft, plump heart pumping courage to love might feel naked and exposed, yet it glistens with resilience.
An Open Heart Melts Fear into a River of Joy.