Love is a natural state of being. Past hurts, betrayals and childhood wounds are some of the reasons we may close our heart. It is natural for us to want to protect ourselves from pain and suffering. This usually happens outside of our conscious awareness because our nervous system takes over since it "knows" how to protect us.
This feeling of separateness may manifest on a physical level such as pressure or tightness in the chest or a forward rounding of the shoulders, as if our body knows how to shield our heart, well because it does.
Emotionally and psychologically, a lack of connectedness can show up as frequent critical self-talk, feelings of self-doubt and an inability to follow our intuition.
The key to self-connectedness is awareness. It is only at the point of awareness that we can make a decision to move forward with courage and work at our own pace to open our hearts so we can receive the love that we deserve. Vulnerability can feel scary, but as long as we take our time and put loving energy into our practices, it is possible.
Here are some practices that can help:
Heart-centered affirmations. For example, "The love I feel for myself is unconditional" and "I love myself for who I am, as imperfect as I am in this moment" can be a good start. If this feels insincere, you can modify the affirmation to something like, "I'm moving towards feeling more love for myself" and you will get more comfortable in time as you continue.
Forgive yourself. Include the small and big instances that come to mind. You can write them down and give yourself the time you may need to maximize the exercise. Think about what you might say to someone you love if they were in your shoes. Then turn the same compassion towards yourself.
Be mindful of your inner dialogue. Our self-talk automatically tends toward negative, so paying close attention to it is key. Once you realize that what you're saying to yourself, you'd probably never say to someone you care about, you have the opportunity to shift to reconstructing your thoughts. Remember, positive thoughts change your neurochemistry so, it's a great idea 100% of the time!
Journal. It's amazing what can be illuminated by putting pen to paper. Journaling is one of the simplest ways to spend time with yourself, by yourself so you can get to know what you're thinking and feeling.
Make a daily intention. Intentions are a powerful way to make our thoughts a reality. They bring awareness to the changes we want to make and the action steps we want to take to manifest our wants and desires. Example: "My intention today is to write down any negative thing I say about myself and counter it with a positive" or "My intention today is to recognize all the little things that I'm grateful for."
Try This Heart Chakra Meditation
Find a safe space to sit quietly. Take a few deep breaths, turn your focus inward and place your hands over your heart.
Think of anyone who has ever loved you and tune in to how it feels to take all of that love into your heart.
It doesn't matter how many people you are thinking of or any of the other details of what may have happened in those relationships.
This moment is just for you to soak in the love that you are worthy and deserving of. Any way that you'd like to visualize this is okay: there's no right or wrong approach. If you'd like, you can imagine a pink light surrounding your heart.
"Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." ~RUMI
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