How to Open Your Heart After Being Hurt
I would like to welcome another guest blogger to our community: Ann Thomas, founder of Evolving Goddess. Ann's philosophy is simple: "You are a Goddess. You are a divine being that has the power to create the most beautiful life. Do you know how lovable, loved, and precious you are?" If you have read any of my other Mind & Spirit resources, you know this parallels with our Lindsay Rose Holistic Health values. I felt compelled to share Ann's latest newsletter article with you:
How to Keep Your Heart Open After You've Been Hurt
We've all been hurt at one time or another, and most likely more than once. Typically, what I find is that when you've been hurt, the most common reaction is to close your heart to protect yourself. You may find a shiny new armor to surround your heart. You may create giant walls to keep your heart safe and secure. The bottom line is that you find some way to hold this vulnerable and sacred part of you in, so that it doesn't get hurt again. (By the way, your heart can close when it comes to your professional life as well, like avoiding opportunities where you may feel vulnerable or subject to criticism).
When your heart is closed, you withdraw or withhold yourself, your attention, or your affection. You become risk adverse -- focusing primarily on all of the harm you may experience. You avoid people or situations that cause you consternation.
The thing is that this strategy works . . . to an extent. You may, in fact, prevent the same type of situation or the same person from hurting you again. You can even avoid other pains as well.
But, you also avoid the joy, love and opportunity that can only arise when your heart is open. Your armor keeps out the good just as much as it keeps out the bad! If you've been holding on to your armor for a while, you probably know exactly what I mean. What once felt like self-protection now feels like a prison. You seem to wake up one day only to find that your life isn't all that it could be.
When your heart is open, more good is possible. Your heart needs to be open to receive the good. Plus, you're able to cultivate true strength and courage because you dare to love even in the face of feeling vulnerable. Yes - it's scary! It's probably the scariest thing in the world because of how vulnerable and exposed you feel. You might have a zillion voices in your head telling you all the reasons why you should go back into the safe confines of your armor. Don't listen to those voices. They will only serve to keep you small in the long run.
Here is an exercise to open your heart and invite more possibility into your life:
- Set the intention to open your heart so that you can receive more good in your life. It helps to say the intention out loud.
- Recall a specific painful instance. Allow yourself to remember the experience fully. If emotions come up, don't resist them. Simply allow all of the feelings to come up without judging them or trying to control them.
- Close your eyes and place your right palm in the center of your chest and your left hand on top of your right hand. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Feel the center of your chest radiant and full of energy. See this energy as an emerald green light, radiating out from the center of your heart into the rest of your body. Feel this energy flowing out into your arms and hands, and flowing back into your heart. Imagine that with each wave of energy, you are slowly releasing the pain from the experience, and creating more expansion in your heart. Stay with this visualization for a few minutes.
- Ask the Divine to show you one step you can take today to help you keep your heart open. Once you receive an answer, express gratitude.
- Take the step.
By engaging in the forgoing exercise, you will release the sadness, fear, and doubt that may linger from a past hurt and open your heart to more compassion, love and possibility. It may take a while for you to process through the hurtful experience.
Repeat the exercise as often as needed to have a complete healing.
Despite whatever fear or hesitation may arise, trust that your intention will manifest.
Ann Thomas, Esq., CPCC is an author, certified life coach and founder of Evolving Goddess, a company devoted to teaching women around the world how to connect with their divinity and love and accept themselves unconditionally and without judgment so that they can be happy, feel at peace, and create a magnificent life. Ann shows women how to take 100% personal responsibility for their lives, actions, and emotions, which becomes the catalyst for their personal empowerment.
Through her retreats, workshops, coaching programs, and products, Ann challenges each of her clients to become a "life activist" -- meaning, an activist on behalf of their own lives. She also offers specific programs for women of color and lesbian and bisexual women that target the impact of systemic discrimination on self-love and self-esteem.
As a lesbian of color born to Indian immigrant parents and a sexual assault survivor, Ann knows first-hand the devastating impact lack of self-love and self-acceptance can have. As a result of persevering through years of despair, she has found a way to live a happy and empowered life by consistently doing the work. Today, Ann lives a life she loves -- and, she remains dedicated to her personal growth work. Ann uses her experiences to help other women in a loving and compassionate, yet no-nonsense, way.
Visit her website: http://evolvinggoddess.com