In the last few newsletters, I have mentioned the 6 steps to heal a heart wound. In this article I will explore the anatomy of a Heart Wound so we can better understand the importance of the 6 steps to heal the heart wound.
We need to progress through all 6 steps of the heart wound to clear all dimensions.
1. Cellular Memory
This show ups as images and memories of the event. In the case of very severe heart wounds the memories are suppressed and hidden away as a protective mechanism. When the wound it too painful or frightening, or if we are shamed by what happened, we are protected by hiding the memory.
2. Suppressed Emotions
Every heart wound has an emotional component. Whether it be fear, anger, sadness, grief or shame, these emotions get suppressed and live on in your emotional body. Until those emotions are released, you will always be at the mercy of them, showing up when you lest expect them. Until you can bring up the memory with no or little emotion around it the heart wound isn’t fully healed. These emotions are the gateway into the wound.
Our heart wounds are born out of not getting our needs met in one way or another. When we have a need, as a child, we ask for what we need. A baby cries when they are hungry or need a diaper change. A child falls down and scrapes a knee and reaches out to the parent for comfort. A child who has suffered a loss, whether that be a pet, friend, parent or family member will reach out for love and assurance that all will be well. A toddler may try to take off a coat when they are too hot. A teenager might begin to pull away from a parent to test their independence as the approach adulthood.
If these needs are not met or if the child is punished for expressing the need, the child is conditioned by the parent as to what is acceptable and what is not. If suppressing their own needs to please a parent or care giver, that behavior can carry into adulthood. Stories and belief systems will be built around that.
As long as the heart wound is not fully healed, the cellular memories and suppressed emotions live on in your body. You will feel their effect subconsciously and that is very uncomfortable. In order to live with this discomfort, we tell stories about why we feel the way we feel and act the way we act to rationalize what we are subconsciously feeling. This is a protective mechanism to avoid feeling the pain that is held in the cellular memory and emotional body. Eventually we think those stories are who we are.
We often make excuses for those who didn’t meet our needs. Or we think that something is wrong with us for having the need in the first place.
Additional stories are build around the conditioning. My needs aren’t important. I must take care of others and put their needs before mine. I cannot ask for what I need. I am not important. I am unworthy of love, comfort and assurance.
4. Beliefs and Belief Systems
Out of the stories and conditioning, we develop beliefs and belief systems. Beliefs are what we tell our self about our self, others, life or God. The longer we hold onto a belief the more deeply ingrained that belief comes and the more power it holds over us. This is another brick or many bricks in the wall of protection that we build around our self.
5. Coping mechanisms
At this point, we have placed our self in a box. We have suppressed our natural needs, gifts and expression. We do not feel fulfilled by life. A new layer of coping mechanisms appear.
Coping mechanism are actions that we take to avoid feeling and to pretend that life is good. They can be self destructive actions like compulsive eating, alcohol addiction, sex addiction, cutting. They can be avoidance actions such as being a perfectionist, over achiever, grandiosity, or over controlling. They can be mitigating actions such as people pleasing, hiding, isolating, memory losses, emotional breakdowns.
If we try to change the coping mechanisms without going through the 6 steps, it becomes a frustrating experience of repeated failure. More beliefs are built around the coping mechanisms and our failure to change them. ie. I am over emotional. I am successful. I am a looser so why try. I am a loner.
6 Steps to Heal a Heart Wound:
This anatomy of a Heart Wound give rise to the 6 steps to heal a heart wound. If you miss any of the steps, you will still be compromised by the Heart Wound. You might feel better. You might function better in the world.
But a part of you will still be in pain. And that pain is often hidden. We disclaim, abandon and exile the wounded parts of our self. We believe these parts are bad and often that was part of the conditioning that came along with the heart wound.
To fully heal a heart wound we need to embrace those abandon parts. Give them the loving attention that they needed at the time of the heart wound. Once the parts are embraced and healed, they can integrate back into a more complete expression of who we are.
The 6 steps to heal a heart wound are as follows.
- Acknowledge the wound. Realize it is there and tell the truth about it.
- Allow yourself to feel the emotions and the pain of the wound.
- Realize the coping mechanisms that you created to survive.
- Acknowledge the negative beliefs about yourself, others, the world and God that came out of the heart wound.
- Re-script the beliefs from life negative beliefs to life enhancing beliefs.
- Choose different actions and ways of being that are more life enhancing.
These 6 steps aren’t necessarily linear. We need to allow our psyche lead us in unravelling the quagmire of cellular memories, suppressed emotions, conditioning, beliefs and belief systems, and coping mechanisms.
The Untouched Blueprint of our Authentic Self
We have with us an untouched stillness that holds the blue print of our authentic self. That authentic self is who were were meant to be and includes our core values, gifts and talents, creativity and authentic expression. To re-access that part of our self is to become fully alive and expressive again.
I have coached many people who have done years of psychotherapy. They normally have dealt with the stories, beliefs and belief systems, conditioning, and coping mechanisms. But it is my experience that until the suppressed emotions and cellular memories are addressed, they aren’t fully free and the heart wounds aren’t fully healed.
The emotions and cellular memories are held in the limbic brain and in the cellular body and are usually untouched by cognitive only therapies. In my own experience sitting with my emotions and allowing the memories to surface has brought about healing that could never be done on a cognitive level.
I have also coached people who have done a lot of somatic work, releasing cellular memories and emotions from the body. But if they have not explored their belief systems, conditioning, stories and coping mechanisms and re-scripted them they can still remain relatively dysfunctional in the world.
There is a third group of people who have used spiritual practice to resolve trauma by transcending, yet transcending an experience doesn’t heal it. They too need to work through the 6 steps of healing.
Any one of the 6 steps that are ignored can compromise your happiness, health and healing.
Coming Next Week
Next week, I’ll focus on Part 2 of Healing the Abuse Heart Wound. I wanted to provide this background before proceeding to that.
May you be thorough in your healing, ❤️Bindu
Discover a nurturing experience that supports you in:
- Healing your heart wounds
- Rediscover your authentic self
- Nurture and love your body
- Discover inner peace
- Release pain and tension
- De-escalate anxiety
- Reduce depression
- Improve sleep
- Increasing self awareness
- Build self care and self love
Heart Wound Healing and Support
Available via phone, skype, zoom or facetime
Heart Healing Session
- Feel accepted however you show up
- Feel heard and understood
- Share the burden of your pain
- Experience a safe space for healing
- Ask any questions that you have
- Receive guidance in healing the heart
- No pressure or hard sells
- Experience unconditional love
- Reclaim hope
- Receive support