Over the weekend, after writing What’s a Body Council?, I took some time to reflect on the many voices within my body. I was surprised when I became aware of a great disservice I have done to my heart (and the other parts of me).
If you asked me, “Who are you, Dirk?” I might start by telling you my name (if I think you don’t already know it). “Hi, I”m Dirk,”
- Then I might tell you something about what I do for work.
- Then I might tell you that I have a wife and two grown children and then I might talk about them.
- Then I might tell you I am one of six children and then I might share with you some things about my parents and siblings.
- Then I might tell you about some things I like to do.
Depending on your willingness to listen and how willing I FEEL you are to listen, I might keep sharing more and more aspects of myself. Heck, many aspects of me have so many things to say! And when my internal gate keeper takes a break and they are allowed to share, they so want to be heard.
My point is, I’m much more than Dirk the doctor or Dirk the parent, etc. We each are infinitely more than our names or what impression or ideas of us a person may take away at first or one-thousand and first meeting.
Upon reflection last weekend, I realized that one thing I have been doing my entire life – WITHOUT AWARENESS of doing it – is labeling my heart as “heart.”
That’s it. That’s my great disservice. I labeled my heart and that part of my chest as one thing; heart.
I labeled it. I didn’t listen to it. I didn’t ask that part of me to share with me about itself, much less open up to listening to hear that it isn’t just ONE THING with one voice. It, at the very least, has several voices. I didn’t really allow my heart more dimensions than one. I was NOT a good listener to my heart. I didn’t listen much at all.
I didn’t listen to hear that it has masculine and feminine voices. That it has hopes and doubts. That it feels corraled by social standards and by my “safety officer;” that part of me that restricts the actions I take and the things I say with the idea of keeping me safe. Never mind that that part may be long out-of-date and overly controlling, even micro-managing.
Instead of LISTENING to my heart, I spent decades THINKING ABOUT and even THINKING FOR my heart. And when I thought about my heart it was with the idea of how it “should” be different (it has had its physical challenges after all) or how it “should” express itself differently. And there are so many thinking parts inside of me that have ideas about how my heart should be. Much of my life I have censored my heart based on some sort of consensus of thinking and judging parts within me.
- Censored, filtered, analyzed and judged love. What could be better?
- Self-love; self-acceptance, self-trust, self-honoring, self-respect and self-expression of the many voices within. That’s what.
The relationship between me and my heart was primarily “head” to body. It was one sided. My heart would make feelings known and my “head” would go about making sense of them and regulating them. A real spontaneity, joy, expressiveness killer that.
I wasn’t open to a conversation from body to head; specifically heart to head in this case. Why not? I DON’T KNOW!!! It didn’t frickin’ occur to me. From the viewpoint of my logic and of my rationality, the thought of my heart or knee or hip or any part other than my throat having a voice is kind of silly. Surely, my voice is located in my throat.
Not only did I not allow a conversation from heart to head, I didn’t even allow my heart to introduce itself like “Hi, I’m your heart.” I unknowingly trained my thinking part to do all of the thinking ABOUT and FOR other parts of me. I also, unconsciously, trained myself to NOT LISTEN listen to other parts of me. I have been so busy running my life from my head. Ughh. .
That has changed. I have changed. I am changing. I am so grateful I know I have changed because my Safety Officer doesn’t want me to share my personal, internal landscape. It doesn’t want me to put myself at risk of judgment and whatever else.
Voices within my heart DO want to be expressed and heard. They DO want to be shared to help me be more free and to help anyone else who can benefit from these words and the telling of my story.