Have you ever felt you heart literally ache after some emotional moment and dismissed that ache as coincidental? It took me quite a while to realize that those aches are not coincidences. Heartache is real, and can be emotionally based.
Did you know that according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is one the leading cause of death in the United States? I’ll bet that is not a surprise, because most of us know several people that have suffered from heart disease.
The CDC tells us, “The most common heart disease is coronary artery disease, which can cause heart attack, angina, heart failure and arrhythmias.” http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/about.htm
What does that say about the care of our bodies, when one of our most vital organs is the source of so many deaths? And what does it say about the care of our emotions?
Even CDC tells us that about 85% of diseases have an emotional element. Perhaps the one disease where we can most graphically understand this is with heart disease.
When we are in emotional pain, we tend to be more cynical about life, and hence, we live in doubt and fear. Consider this insight from The Atlantic “In an observational study of nearly 100,000 women, those with a pessimistic, cynical disposition developed more coronary heart disease, had more heart attacks, and died earlier than optimists.”
It has been my observation after working with hundreds of clients that most illnesses are caused by negative emotions or aggravated by them. It is certainly possible that the heart is our emotional center and therefore requires great care and attention in our healing. Intuitively, this is what I get about heart ailments.
The heart is represents the center of your capacity for love. When love is limited, the heart experiences the limit physically. That limit can occur as a result of constrained love in this life-time or can be carried through from previous life-times.
Notice where your heart feels physical constraint, because it tells a story about how you limit your love. If it is in the back, this indicates pain around betrayal. If it is in the front, it indicates pain that occurs from lack of trust. Abandonment is experienced on the right side of the heart. Regret or fear of reprisal is on the left. Unworthiness lives at the bottom of the heart and deception at the top. Helplessness and hopelessness weaken the heart overall. Hate engulfs the entire heart.
In order for the heart to be at peace, the heart needs you to know that you love you.
So you might ask yourself, how can you foster greater love for yourself by self-healing the emotional wounds that your heart carries for you?
Consider these questions:
If you feel wounded by betrayal, then you probably also betray. Now, be gentle with yourself, and see if you can sit with this without running away. Think about someone that you know who was badly abused as a child and has not yet embraced their healing work. Do they tend to abuse others? Whether they do it quietly or overtly—whether they are rough on themselves or others—they will have a tendency to abuse. The pain is what they know, so it is what they create. The same is true for each of us
So now, if you feel deeply betrayed, consider asking yourself, “How do I betray people in my life?” Then be in compassion for the way that you betray. As you find compassion for yourself, you will naturally open in compassion for those that have betrayed you, in this life or in previous lives. The emotional wound heals in your compassion.
If you have been wounded because someone violated your trust in them, ask yourself “How do I harm the trust of others?” Again, be in compassion for the ways in which you do not trust. As you find trust in yourself and the Divine, you will naturally open in compassion for those that you have not been able to trust, in this life or in previous lives.
Consider doing the same with abandonment, unworthiness, deception, regret, fear of reprisal, or hate. If you need some help with this, I have developed a video series that teaches you how to be present to emotions. From a mystical perspective, this ability to hold is the nature of the Sacred Feminine and hence the title for the series:
If you sit quietly with your heart, and allow yourself to become aware of the emotions associated with your heart, they will show themselves. The emotions might have words associated with them or they might be nameless, but they are there. In your journey of self-healing, you might experience emotions similar to what I have named, or they might seem different than what I have named. Trust your own sense about the feelings.
And these emotions are cries for compassion—your compassion for you.
You might discover that as the painful emotions soften, and dissolve—leaving you to experience more of your full and limitless potential for love—you natural make healthier choices in diet, exercise and life choices.
If it is the heart that leads the way to meeting and enjoying life with a beloved, then doesn’t your heart deserve the greatest, loving attention you can possibly give it? If you believe that is true, then the painful emotions you have been carrying deserve and need your compassionate love.