When I feel stressed, scared, and out of control, my first instinct is to run as fast and as far as I can. To drop everything and get the hell out of there so as to prevent major damage being done. This rarely means that I physically run away. But, I am a pro at emotionally checking out. I totally shut down my heart and I turn to my brain to lead the way. I turn off the sweet, vulnerable, defenseless side of me.
I will analyze, learn what I can about the situation, step back, and become factual and brainy. I basically turn into the Tin Man. This doesn’t help the problem in the long run. It adds to the pile of crap that will have to be sorted and cleaned up later on.
Doing this really isn’t even effective at making me feel better- it is a protective mechanism and an attempt to distract myself from the possibility of things going totally awry and out of my control resulting in my getting hurt. But, the emotions tend to leak through occasionally and I still feel all of the stuff I am trying to protect myself against, having to rearrange and reinforce my defenses along the way. It’s pretty exhausting.
This has been a challenging year for me. And I have noticed that I have dug myself deeper and deeper into my intellectual addiction, which means that I have created more distance between myself and any connection with others. I have a habit of becoming “too busy” to connect and my brain tells me in a calm and reassuring voice that what I am doing is healthy and will help me in the long run.
But, today, I attended a Heart Opening workshop at a local yoga studio. I set the intention to be fully present and to be open to opening. I took notes and followed the cues and learned about the alignment that could help me to anatomically open the front of my body more. And in the middle of the workshop, I had an overwhelmingly clear understanding that I need to turn off my brain and let my heart take the lead.
Love was pouring out of me and all I could see was that when I turn to my brain and stop leading with love and connection, that I am missing out on so much; that later, down the road when this time is gone, I am going to wish that I had done it so differently. My heart told me to relax and that the possibility of getting hurt is ok, because I can heal. That all I am protecting myself from is love. That looking back later and wishing I had let others in and that I had been present in these moments would do nothing but make me grow even colder, angrier, and more disconnected.
So, my intention is to be open. To trust my heart to take the lead. To be hurt, but to be fully alive in the moment. It’s really scary and I know that I won’t do it perfectly, but I have to try. Doing the same thing over and over is only getting me the same lesson and the same results again and again. Maybe this is the lesson I am supposed to learn. I hope so, but if not, I will try to be open to trying again.
I feel like I went to Oz today and I am leaving with a brand new heart. Wish me luck in learning to trust it.
Talk again soon,