How do you Open your Heart to Healing? What does this even mean?
In Eastern Medicine the body has always been treated along with the mind. One can’t be separated from the other. Western medicine is slowly catching on, but little emphasis is still being placed on our emotions and how they impact our health.
Having an open heart means recognising the things in life that are holding us back and learning to be open to change. We have all experienced sadness, loss, trauma or some other stress that has impacted our lives. It may be temporary or it may have a lasting effect.
We can choose to ignore it and move on, but unless we recognise it’s impact and that it may still be influencing our emotions and actions, our health will suffer.
Any sudden death, loss or trauma deeply effects our well being. We may hold on to this stress and bury it deep down, because at the time, it is too painful to deal with. There is nothing wrong with that. It keeps us safe or helps us cope at a time when our lives are turned upside down. However one day we must deal with it.
Research has shown that an inability to express and process our feelings effectively, or repressing our anger or grief and putting everyone else’s needs before our own, depresses the immune system. These patterns have been found in people who go on to develop chronic illness.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the Heart is the Fire Element. It governs our blood and blood vessels but more importantly, it is where our spirit and mind reside. It has been said that when the Heart is healthy, all organs can do their job properly, but when it is not well, the functioning of the whole body is impaired.
So how do we Open our Heart to healing? We can start by recognising the emotions we are holding deep within and start speaking about them. Journalling is a great way to commence, as writing down your thoughts often helps you release the emotions attached to them. Speak to someone you trust and share how you are feeling, even if it is years after the event. Seeing a counsellor is also a great idea if you are holding onto trauma or find it difficult to talk about your feelings.
Putting yourself first and having strong boundaries around your time and availability is vital. It is the first step in loving and respecting yourself. Start letting go of guilt and resentment. You have a right to be here. You don’t need to explain your actions. Doing things that you love from a place of joy, rather than doing things out of a sense of obligation, releases stress and negativity.
Having an open heart means being free to be authentically You. It means expressing your views without fear of criticism. It means taking actions that benefit you and your health without fear of judgment.
It isn’t always easy because it opens us up to vulnerability, but the more we show our true selves, the more we live an extraordinary life. Not everyone will like the new you, but that’s okay. We’re not here to please everyone. I believe we are here to live an amazing life in the best way that we can.
To open up your heart is to show the world who you are, unapologetically. To share your gifts, your views, your feelings and emotions. And that’s the first step to Healing.
References: When the Body Says No by Dr Gabor Mate. The Way of the Five Seasons by John Kirkwood. Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash
Disclaimer: Please note that all information in this article is the opinion of the author and obtained through her research and knowledge and the above references. It is not meant to replace medical advice and a medical opinion should always be obtained for any health condition.