Layers of our heart

layersWith a bit of reluctance, I’ve begun seeing a chiropractor. I’ve been in the past to others, with degrees of success, but I sought this person out at the suggestion of a co-worker because of their methods. The doctor looks at my spinal and nerve structure from a few different perspectives, including the bone alignment, nerve impingement and muscle structure. Turns out, I’m a bit of a hot mess on the inside, and we’re on a correction plan which should lead to better overall health.

Here’s the thing about going through this type of treatment, areas where I’d experienced pain in the past are resurfacing. I thought I’d healed the pain in my hip, for example, and then, wham! it’s back. The doctor explained our body finds ways to compensate misalignment and cover it up. Those areas come back as we do the work to heal. I think about the earth’s surface. Archeologists could explain what we’d find as we dig down through the layers dirt and rock. We’d resurface all types of history as well as damage.

In a way, our emotional lives are a parallel to my body healing, and the earth’s surface. Throughout our lives, we experience joy and heartache to varying degrees. While we work to move past and through those situations, the degree to which they are healed is a different ballgame. And, not unlike the earth’s surface, when you dig in, you might accidentally come upon a landmine.

I’ve found that in my own life. Over time, I’ve experienced those joys, and heartaches, and those were generally not in isolation. Other people were often involved. And each of us heals or moves past emotional situations at our own pace, in our own way. Where we step on the landmine is to make assumptions that other people are having the same experience that we are, healing and moving past at the same rate.

I make those mistakes. For as much as I strive to keep my expectations on lock down, I develop ideas about how situations will flow. That’s when the landmines come up. Usually it’s because I’ve been operating in isolation and might believe I’m taking someone else’s feelings into consideration, or have expectations about how they’ll respond, but I’m not asking questions. I’m only looking from my perspective. Writing my own story.

Those lessons can be painful. Which, I am not a fan of. Not in the slightest. The interesting thing is that the pain reveals the area where more work is needed. But wouldn’t we all want to find another way? I’ve been pondering that this week and I believe there is.

Wait for it…

Vulnerable communication. Honestly, I think it’s that simple. Get to know and understand the layers of the people you’re closest to. The ones who share the ripples of joy and heartache with you. Ask about their experience, listen, show empathy. Be in the space with them and ask that they do they same for you. In all honestly, I’m talking maybe 1-2 people. The ones who’ve witnessed the intimacies of life with you.

Each one of us has a desire to be seen, and if we really want to be seen, we must be bold enough to show our layers. At least to those who have earned the right to be there. Start where you’re comfortable but start. Been seen for all the beautiful layers that you’re made of.


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