Heart Knowledge

The more you open yourself to being healed, the more you will discover how deep your wounds are…The great challenge is living your wounds through instead of thinking through them…The choice you face constantly is whether you are taking your wounds to your head or your heart. In your head you analyze them, find their causes and consequences, and coin words to speak and write about them. But no final healing is likely to come from that source. You need to let your wounds go down to your heart. Then you can live through them and discover that they will not destroy you. Your heart is greater than your wounds.
~ Henri Nouwen

On Monday a friend posted this quote. This quote sums up two things that I’ve been learning and experiencing over these last few years.

First, it answers my question of: “Why is it that when I take a step towards healing, shit just seems to happen?”. When I would make the decision to challenge my old habits, it seemed like a huge unexpected bill came in the mail, a family member fell ill, and old flame suddenly wanted to re-connect, or my car needed repair. I remember telling myself that if this is what healing brings, then I wasn’t sure if I was up to the task. But with a good support system (therapist, ACA, etc.) I made it through and learned that I had some deep wounds that needed attention and an Ego that not wanting to give up control of my life.

Now, it’s a bit easier to navigate many of those hard times because I’ve come to have a deeper relationship with myself and Life. I’m sure that bigger challenges will come, and how I live through them is yet to be seen.

Second, this quote describes so perfectly what I previously described as: head knowledge dropping down to my heart. When this happens, what results is a shift in consciousness.

I first sought out therapy/counseling when I was 23. I consistently felt a dull sadness, and believed that something was “wrong” with me. My first therapist was a very heart centered and calm man. After hearing me ramble on, he made that observation that my heart and my mind were not communicating with each other. I knew immediately that this was in fact the case. And at 24 I decided I wanted my heart and mind to connect and communicate.

17 years later, I can honestly say that this connection has been made.

Typically, when I come to understand something, I do so in my head first. The lesson makes sense to me, and I believe that it is so. But I do not live the new lesson. I simply know of it. Then, usually through observing others or through art (music, film, painting, etc.) I feel my heart open up and I finally “get it”. My heart literally feels like it is being filled to capacity and I begins to feel light-headed and dizzy. This is when I know a shift in consciousness is happening. Because it was all so new, I use to feel scared. But this has happened so much, and with people whom consider safe, that I know that this is just a time to allow things to settle into place.

I suppose some people may call this as an epiphany. But this feels deeper than that. For me, an epiphany is the first step. It is acquiring of the mind knowledge. It is that “A-ha!” moment. When this knowledge drops down into the heart, it is disorienting and exciting. It is the same feeling as being breath-taken by a love, or beautiful art or music piece. Time seems to stand still and you know you’ll never be the same again.

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