Imagine that someone dear to you has a problem and they don’t know what to do about it. Most of us would offer our help without hesitation. Even if you witnessed a friend or a stranger having an emotional reaction in public, you would most likely assist them.
One day while walking through an airport terminal, an older woman behind me cried out in pain. I turned around abruptly and learned she had just received a phone call, advising her that her mother had passed away. I quickly called Security for a wheelchair, and then sat with her and prayed until she calmed down. Just last night, I was out with some friends at a restaurant. A woman at the next table stumbled and fell to the floor, and at least four people came rushing to her aid.
When it comes to assisting others, we are strong and fearless warriors… willing to take on any feat. Oftentimes, when it comes to honoring our own emotional pain, we turn away and deny ourselves even the slightest acknowledgement. It is as if we lock our emotions in a huge vault and scribe “do not enter” on the outer door.
When it comes to honoring our own cries for help, most of us act like hardened jailors guarding the door, and refusing entry at all costs. Why is there such a willingness to love, honor and forgive others, and such resistance to facing or even acknowledging our own pain?
It wasn’t until I met a friend of mine that I realized I had become the hardened jailor of my own heart. Even after helping thousands of people to heal emotional pain, I didn’t realize I had become the cause and culprit of my own bondage.
My friend asked me a simple question, “Who takes care of you?” And I said, “What?” And she replied, “Who do you give your pain to?” I thought for a moment and said, “No one.” As soon as I muttered those words, I could feel the pressure behind my vault door rising like a tsunami.
What my friend didn’t realize, was that her question had thrown a sledge hammer against my door. The impact startled me. Being an attentive jailor, I tried to reinforce the door. But, she didn’t stop there. She kept asking me the same question and my mind raced to think of an answer. But there wasn’t one. There was only a cold dark silence.
My eyes began to tear and I knew she had breached my door; the door to my heart. I felt like a sinking ship and I was taking on water faster than I could respond. I couldn’t speak. If I spoke, I feared the door would blast open and something inside me would be lost forever.
A flurry of self-judgment attacked me in the silence. Thoughts came screaming to the surface like, “What’s your problem? and “Why do you need to give your pain to anyone anyway?” and “You certainly don’t have it as bad as some other people, so get a grip on yourself.” All of these thoughts were attempts at re-barricading the door.
I had to make a choice… quickly. Either I could lock it up tighter than before, or let the whole vault come tumbling down. For a moment in time, the dark side of my mind seemed evenly matched with the part that wanted freedom. I couldn’t choose. It was a stalemate.
At the relentless prompting of my friend, the door blew open. It took her effort to break the door down. I realized I could never have done it by myself. It took her vigilance to look me in the eye and require an answer, before the whole muse became clear to me.
Somewhere in time, I had decided to be a caretaker and stop being taken care of. I had prided myself into thinking I could take care of my emotions myself. All the while, my vault was stacking up with emotions I never even gave the slightest glance.
Once the emotions poured, the vault emptied out. The voice of my heart was free to express and be itself. Like a finely-tuned stereo, I had found my speakers. The short in the wiring system had been restored. All it took was another soul, with the desire and intention to hold a safe, loving space for me to honor my emotions. There was no judgment and no rebuttals. There was only love and in the midst of love, the outcome was pure tranquility.
Today, I offer you a chance to free yourself forever, if you haven’t already done so. Find a strong, loving friend to sit with you. Have them look into your eyes and ask you what hurts and what you haven’t ever told anyone, then let them love you, reassure you and remind you of who you really are. Let your vault be opened and then offer them the same gift. If you do not know a strong, loving friend, then I gladly offer to hold that space for you. Perhaps this new year can be the first year of your personal freedom.
Our hearts deserve to be heard, releasing the silent scream that no one hears. Once it is shared, it is healed forever… and the voice of our hearts is restored to a grace-filled song.
This article is dedicated to my dear friend, Krista, who had the love and
tenacity to confront my jailor and demand my release.
Robin D. Duncan is the CEO for The ONE Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization. She is also the Exec. Director for The Miracle Center of California, a School for Hypnotherapy offering private sessions and classes to the public based on A Course in Miracles and curriculum from The National Guild of Hypnotists. They are located at 1801 E. Heim Ave., Suite 100, Orange, CA 92865. Call (714) 921-9911 or (888) 773-9174. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit: www.miraclecenterofca.com or www.theonecenter.org (coming soon).
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