HeartSourcing Yoga is not therapy. It’s not to improve your life by increments; it’s to set you free, radically and for good. After years of sitting on therapists couches this became clear to *Linda when I asked her if she wanted to question her belief, “I was damaged.” She was just getting warmed up telling me the painful story of her childhood when my question somewhat derailed her.
Ok, she was new to this.
Somewhat hesitatingly she agreed to question her belief. We do this with one of the skills we use in HeartSourcing Yoga, known as The Work. Quickly she came to see several layers of painful emotions that were caused by this belief. On the surface there was anger. Many, many years of it. Too long had she been led to blame her parents – and what had it done for her?
Under the anger she discovered a heavy layer of sadness, fueled by the depressing story of her lonely childhood and aggravated by the fact that she still felt like an invisible outsider at 60.
And there was more: under the anger and the sadness there was deep fear, expressed in life-long anxiety and nervous habits. This fear was not quite visible to her yet; she had to go slow with dissolving it. But what she intuitively felt was that below all that anger, sadness and fear was the peace and the great love she had always longed for. They were beckoning to her from the deepest core of her heart.
Then I asked her, “Who would you be without the thought, you were damaged?” She described the person she always wanted to be – and somehow knew she was – although it had so far escaped her: free, joyful, living in the present, enjoying life fully, happy and deeply loving.
We went further in this inquiry. We turned the thought, “I was damaged” around to, “I was not damaged.” First she looked at me in complete disbelief. This had never occurred in any of her countless therapy hours.
Slowly, after some encouragement, she found it: she was actually whole, her body intact, her mind operating well, she had good capacities as a professional woman and she had used them well. All this was indisputably true; it was clear evidence that her being was intact, that “I was/am damaged” was a belief only, not the dreadful reality she had thought it was.
And we went further. I asked her, “What is the opposite of ‘damaged’?” She came up with, “I was raised in the best possible way.” I knew this would be a stretch for Linda and it took her a while to absorb the implications that this could be true. Then, slowly it came to her. “The way I was raised gave me compassion, resilience, strength, and humility.” Recognizing these precious qualities her upbringing had given her was a quantum leap for Linda. And there was more: a burning desire for freedom, an aspiration for enlightenment, not being content with just a temporary absence of pain, but aiming for the very highest.
Slowly a new reality dawned to her. “It had to have been be like that,” she said quietly, “for how else could I have become me? How else could I have found my unique path in life? How else could I have developed this great desire to know freedom and grace?” A glow of gratitude came over her face. She looked like a different person now. Finally she had come to a place where no one was to blame, a place where she could find the Source of love, generosity and infinite nurturing inside herself. Finally she was coming home to herself.
Indeed we cannot live another life than our own, nor can it ever be true that the past could have been different. It had to be what it was – because that’s what it was. Any other belief is pure fantasy and highly toxic. It is pure delusion and it fuels anger, sadness, blaming, regrets, anxiety and endless pain. It makes us tense and miserable and lonely.
Only when we say yes to who we are – an unqualified yes to the present – can we begin to find the gateway to the heart. There we discover the Source of all we are looking for. Here our nurturing and fulfillment lie waiting for us to notice.
But they come at a price: they will cost us our cherished identity as someone who was damaged, misunderstood, abused, neglected or hurt. We no longer need to dreadful stories of the past. We are free to realize we are free, here and now, in the core of the heart.
*Her real name has been altered.
and the HeartSourcing Yoga Team