Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Afraid to LOVE

I have spent the last 2 weeks reflecting on the idea of loving with my whole heart. I have always said that I did and perhaps I was saying it because that was my intention but recently I recognized that my iron shield is still in place protecting my heart from hurt.

I was reading a blog by Lissa Rankin and she shared a story about her dog being injured and she wrote the words "I give you permission to break my heart". My breath stopped and I felt a knife piercing my heart. The words were powerful and triggered a deep response in my body. My internal dialogue was strong and fierce "why would I give others permission to hurt me?"

I felt the "flight or fight" response in my body kick in as a rush of adrenalin was released and a deep sense of fear filled my body and mind. It was as if I were fighting for my life and my first instinct was to run and hide. Why did those words hit me so deeply? As I turned my attention inward I felt a shield around my heart. What I heard was "I give you permission to hurt me". I realized my heart was still closed off because there was a part of me that was still so afraid to be hurt. Not only was this thick shield protecting me from hurt but it was blocking me from really loving with my whole heart.

When I was younger I felt like a victim of life's circumstances. I grew up with a lot of pain, physically and emotionally. I held onto the pain so that I wouldn't burden others, especially my Mother. Many years ago someone taught me that no one else can hurt me, I can only choose to feel hurt. This idea allowed me to move from feeling like a victim to Standing in my POWER again. I felt a renewed sense of control as I realized I had the ability to choose how to respond in any situation.What I just realized is that the idea that no one can hurt me I can only choose to feel hurt actually became another layer of iron on my shield protecting my heart. 

I have moments when I open the gates to my heart fully and it is in those moments I feel most vulnerable. Why can't I keep the gates open all the time? What am I so afraid of? Is it really about being afraid of feeling hurt or am I really afraid to love fully and completely?

Love is such a powerful emotion and to love fully feels overwhelming to me. The good news it is only overwhelming because it is unfamiliar. As I continue to practice opening my heart to feel fully it will become more familiar and become easier and easier. Does that protect me from feeling hurt, grief, disappointment and fear? Absolutely not. I want to feel everything, the positive and the negative emotions. That is what being human is all about. It is in the fear you recognize and appreciate love. It is in deep sadness you appreciate joy and happiness. We need the contrast to appreciate and recognize how good joy and love feels.

To what extent do you love with your whole heart? Are you willing to give and receive love without a shield of protection around your heart? Are you afraid to love? Can you love like you have never been hurt before?

To some people it may seem impossible to heal  a deep seeded fear like this one but I know in my heart ANYTHING can be healed. I am choosing a gentle path for this one. Instead of forcing and trying to get rid of my iron shield it I will bless it for all the lessons it provided. I will love as much as I can in each moment and let go of any judgments or fears as they show up.

Each day my intention is to repeat and embrace the following affirmation:
"I choose to live through the opening in my heart."

I would love to hear from you. Please share your comments below.

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