We don’t always feel courageous. In our deepest darkest moments we can and do feel discouraged. What does this mean? Courage comes from the French world Coeur which means Heart. If we feel discouraged our heart is heavy, it may be burdened or laboured with pain, we may be labouring under all kinds of false beliefs about our worth. We may be looking around comparing our situation to others and coming up lacking
When we lack this courage in our heart and a warm feeling for our deepest selves I feel that our heart needs to be heard. It may be longing for us to open the doorway into it just a little in order for us to rest there for a while, listen deeply and give the heart a voice as well as bestowing on our heart the love and energy that is needed by a soul that is in the process of healing and awakening.
It was only a few months ago that I read a lovely piece of writing by therapist Wayne Muller in which he encouraged one of his clients to listen in to his heart. This person had developed an arrhythmia of his heart due to the fact that he wasn’t listening to his inner self. The man was doing a lot of things for others and not getting anything much back. He was tired and he was too busy to listen to his heart. When Wayne encouraged him to slow down and connect with his heart through a simple meditation practice the person learned that his heart was tired and needed to be attuned to and supported. He change his behaviour and began to listen to his heart in meditation and his arrhythmia healed in time.
It seems on the healing path we need to so much courage to face those things that may be hidden or that we are too busy or too weighted down to hear. To en-courage ourselves means to enter into a practice of listening to our heart and feelings and treating them in loving and affirmative ways. It means resting if our heart is tired. It means crying and going gently on ourselves if our heart is sad. It means dancing around if our heart wants to open to joy and embodiment. It means reaching out to connect with someone if we feel lonely and need to talk.
We can en-courage ourselves, maybe this is what we are most meant to do in our recovery. I know at my darkest times the emergence of a loving voice from my own heart speaking words of comfort has helped me enormously to counteract the harsher voices of self judgement and criticism that dogged me for years, most especially in those painful years recovering from the relationship with a narcissist. It really works.
Sometimes too our heart has things to tell us that our head doesn’t want to do or understand. We feel the pull of our heart to connect with the person with whom we had an upset because the desire to connect is stronger than our desire to remain separate, at these kinds of times we can call on the courage our hearts to do what the heart feels is best and escape the prison of our minds that may want to bar the way forward.