Self-care is popular these days. To take time for yourself is important to your health and well-being. Often what constitutes self-care are things like taking a nap, getting a massage, even living your heart’s desire. Those are all good things, but the kindest thing you can do for yourself is to let yourself feel all that you feel.
To feel all those scary and sad feelings may not seem kind. We don’t like to feel pain, but pain opens us and makes our hearts both tender and strong.
To make pain the point is not self-care, but to make only feeling good the point isn’t either. If our focus is only on feeling good, we end up pushing aside some of our inner experience. The message to our heart, to our soul becomes that it’s wrong to feel sorrow, anger, fear, pain. We then need to do whatever we can to keep feeling good. That’s how addiction can start.
Sometimes it feels like the pain is too much. In some instances, trauma can break the heart and mind. At those times we need help to mend, to find ourselves in each shattered piece so we can begin to hold them as our own again. Given time and space the heart and mind will put themselves back together in a way that makes sense going forward. We are never the same after experiencing pain.
Pain rearranges us somehow. As I grieve my mother and the life that wasn’t, I can feel my heart shifting as every beat brings up memories and a myriad of feelings. The kindest thing I can do for myself is to feel it all. My heart is broken and my mind spins in confusion. But I also know that at the center of it all, the sun sets in order to rise again. A new day is not the same as the last, yet it is still holy.
So be kind to yourself. Open up to the feelings as they rise. Let yourself know each one, a wave of emotion moving through you. This kindness to yourself will allow you to be kind to others. Compassion swells as we open to all that lives within. To know our hearts fully is know the heart of another.
Please join me over on my Facebook page aka the Live Life from the Heart Classroom. Every week we'll delve deeply into the current week's blog and build our lives from the heart.
Learning to Live