Growing up, I was taught that logic should win over intuition, science over ‘gut feelings’, brains over heart. But that left me feeling rather cold and unnourished and felt too ‘masculine’ and ‘academic.’
Deciding to drop everything this past Fall so I could focus on my healing, I rediscovered something unexpected: my heart. Buried under layers of hurt and old wounds, I had sheltered my heart so I wouldn’t get hurt. That’s how I was able to stay in a loveless and unfulfilling marriage, how I was able to keep doing a job that didn’t feed my soul, how I survived.
But when the Universe keeps hitting you with Cosmic 2x4s – my divorce, move, breaking my heel for the second time in two years – something has to give. I’ve shared how I had to change my thinking to focus more on be-ing instead of do-ing, how I’ve had to re-learn how to walk in my power, and how I’ve had to learn to let go and trust the Universe to provide. But what I neglected to do was to throw my heart into the mix. I was scared. I didn’t want to get hurt again. I thought if I protected my heart, I would – in turn – protect myself. I was wrong.
Something happened to me in late November. Three months after getting a divorce and moving, I met a man. I wasn’t looking. I didn’t want a relationship. I wanted to focus on healing. And then he walked in my front door. Literally.
And my little heart that had been hidden beneath those layers of pain broke open. And re-awakened. And hurt. Goddess, how it hurt. But I realized that that’s what I needed. You can’t heal – not truly – while keeping your heart sheltered. You have to open up and put everything on the table, knowing your heart might need to get broken again in the process for you to truly heal the past wounds.
And let me tell you, there have been days when all I wanted to do was slam the door to my heart shut again. Days when it just hurt too much. Days when I was blinded by my tears.
And so I journaled and painted and am working through my old wounds. Is it comfortable? No. Does it need to be done? Absolutely.
As another year comes to a close, I encourage you to examine your heart. Are there any wounds that need to be healed? Are there any past grievances that need to be forgiven? Any old grudges that need to be let go of?
This year we are fortunate enough to have New Year’s Day fall on a New Moon. Before you go out and celebrate New Year’s Eve, I encourage you to hold a release ceremony to let go of any past hurts, wounds, and grievances so you can begin your New Year with a clean slate.
Ask your heart the following questions and journal her answers:
1) What wounds do you still carry?
2) What grievances or grudges do you still hold?
3) How are these serving you?
4) Are you ready to forgive, let go, and move on?
5) What do you want to let go of? (Be specific.) Who do you need to forgive? (Don’t forget to include yourself on your forgiveness list.)
Get out a blank piece of paper and fold it into three parts. On the first part, write: I forgive. Then list the names of everyone you need and want to forgive. On the second part, write: I let go of. Write down everything you need to let go of. On the final portion, write: I release. Write down everything you need to release. Re-read your paper to make sure you didn’t leave anything out.
Once you are satisfied, get out a lighter (or match) and fire proof container. Rip your paper into the three parts along your folds. Light the first part on fire, dropping it into your fire proof container, saying: I forgive you. Once that has burned completely, light the second strip, saying: I choose to let you go. Once that has burned, light the final piece, saying: I release you, I release you, I release you.
Sit in silence for a few minutes.
Get your journal back out. Write down everything you want to attract in the New Year. Keep this list somewhere safe but where you’ll see it often – in your wallet or purse, perhaps. Look at it often to remind yourself not only of what you’ve let go of but what you want to attract into your life.