Healing our Heart: The Importance of Vulnerability

In order to heal mindbody and Spirit, vulnerability is necessary. Befriending pain, feeling rage, sorrow, and grief stored in the body, frees us from the stifling of our joy, creativity and love. It might seem hard to feel pain, especially when we have a thousand and one distractions in our modern world and because the ego develops so many defense mechanisms. But, once someone sets an intention to heal, to want to heal even the resistance to healing, then the person will attract the conditions, support and resources necessary to do so. 

I remember one of the few disagreements that I had with my maternal grandmother. We were sitting in my mother’s kitchen at night while I insisted that healing was possible while she insisted healing was most definitely not possible. I was privileged and supported enough by my family to be in graduate school studying to be a therapist. I also worked as a Youth Advisor providing young adults with the support to believe in themselves. My grandmother was a woman with decades of trauma under her belt, who had been left alone in the world as a single, impoverished mother after losing her well-paying, white collar job due to misogyny.

To encapsulate just how hardened and brazen she had to be in her world, someone once put a gun to her head and she told them not to miss the first time. What else could she have done in that moment except to protect herself with a show of hardened fearlessness? Her mother died when she was a young girl and she grew up in a home with a great deal of violence. As time went on, she had to deal with family members getting imprisoned and raising her own kids in addition to her nephew after his mother had been murdered. Her confidence and self-esteem was greatly damaged after being fired and she was probably barely operating out of survival mode since she had to raise children without any family to help. Through it all though, she maintained a heart of gold, despite the truckload of trauma she carried. 

While we sat at the kitchen table, I insisted people could heal while also ignoring all of the pain she felt. As I ignored the pain I felt from her, it was no wonder she kept insisting that healing was not possible. If I had listened with a softened heart, I might have heard, “I am wound so tightly in grief, anger and trauma I can’t possibly imagine a world where I have the support to relax my heart.” But, clearly, we didn’t discuss pain, only abstract possibilities. 

If we had the ability then to speak with vulnerability, I would have said, I am in pain from what has happened in our lives, but I am looking at that pain and letting myself feel it, even if very slowly. And she might have said, “Chris, the roots of my emotional pain are so deep that I cannot even imagine looking at them.” And if we had said that, the walls around our hearts would have melted a bit and healing on the quantum cellular level would have begun. Just ever so slightly, we both would have opened our hearts to both the joy of connection and the pain we carried. 

But we couldn’t say that to each other yet. The bravery of vulnerability was overpowered at that time by all the unspoken, oppressive moments of fear.

To speak with vulnerability, one must feel they are worthy of love. That love gives you the gumption to speak your heart. And abuse and neglect, well, those experiences  make you think you are not worthy of expressing your needs or feelings, or they make you so very angry and explosive that others shut down in fear.   

I realize now that each day my grandmother woke up with a smile; with love in her heart; with jokes up her sleeve; with pleasure for good food, wine and hockey players, was a miracle. The small joys in life were miracles. Her motivation to give to others through donations to the Veterans Association and her volunteering at the arts center to experience the joy of music and theater, these were all miracles after all that she had been through. Her resilience was a miracle. It showed the enduring strength of her Soul. 

Nonetheless, some years after my grandmother passed I realized there was still heartbreak running within me and I needed to restore the flow of energy and love in my heart. I rewired a few memories to shift the energy in my mindbody and Spirit using Transformational Healing developed by Adalina East.

Before passing, my grandmother had suffered a heart attack and was revived, but in a deep coma. When discussing whether to take her off life support, we were shocked to learn she had stage four lung cancer. She never told anyone. Not a Soul. In fact, a few months before her death she had checked herself out of the hospital, probably after learning about her diagnosis. So, in the rewiring, I imagined my grandmother and I sitting in her studio apartment as she told me about her diagnosis and acceptance of death. As I felt us communicating in such a close, vulnerable way, the fibers of my heart energy were restored through open communication, through the flow of tears. I imagined this scenario over and over again until the energy of love and heartfelt communication felt real and powerful in my body. 

Another scenario that I reimagined was when my grandmother, mother and I picked up my uncle after he completed his prison sentence. The whole car ride was extremely painful. My uncle was the only one who talked much. He talked about the fights he had in prison using his alter ego voice, using comedy to talk about really painful things. This was an adequate coping skill I guess, but I sat there in a screaming silence wondering if anyone else realized how hard this whole experience had been for him and for all of us. Behind his laughing clown act was the sad person crying.

Everyone was crying inside. Our tears had been silenced though. The ability to get our own needs met by expressing sorrow had been squashed, crushed under the weight of abuse running through generations of our family. The victim energy, the lingering effects of trauma, abuse and neglect was literally silencing the women and destroying the men through rage and violence.

I wanted for all of us to connect with heartfelt words and experience a family energy healing, to change the energy from withdrawal and rage, to connection and love by opening the heart and supporting one another. So, in the rewiring energy healing, I imagined my grandmother giving my uncle lovingkindness and heart support. She spoke about emotions, about what he must be going through, about how she was there for him, and about how her own heart was broken. I imagined my grandmother also supporting my mother with words of emotion, and my mother supporting me with her words. I also imagined all of us hugging, each one of us feeling we were there for each other.  

All too often, when we experience violence and trauma, our ability to be vulnerable and speak from the heart shuts down in fear and anger. We get depressed, dissociate from our bodies and/or get wired for hyperarousal. We remain stuck in depressive, angry victim energy. Our anger takes over to fill the void of love and we become destructive or overly passive. We cannot be present enough with our emotions or with the emotions of others to offer support.  But we can release the negative energy stuck in our mindbody and energy fields, so we can be more present. Friends and family pick up on the energy shifts, even subconsciously and healing happens on a collective level. 

For instance, I worked with my Spirit Guides to release energy I was holding onto from my grandmother. Often times, people will hold onto the energy of family members in order to support them, as a show of loyalty and love. But holding onto painful energy doesn’t help anyone. I felt a knot of pain in my back and couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. When I tapped into my Spirit Guides they let me know I was holding onto a pain that came from my grandmother. I asked Source Energy to release this pain from all levels of my being, and it was cleared from my mindbody and energy field.

Being able to express our emotions, empathy and the love we feel is one of our most powerful tools to change destructive situations. I am reminded of a story that a friend told me. She had been living in Argentina and there was an attempted robbery on her clothing shop. Instead of freaking out, she talked to the man who was robbing her. She showed him love and empathy and had a conversation with him about what he was doing with his life. The man walked out of that store a changed person because she had literally disarmed him with love. For sure, she had felt fear, but she had the ability to stay in her heart and deal with the situation from a place of love. This showed me that the power of love is the most powerful force. 

After I had restored the heart connection between my grandmother and I within my own energy field, she connected with me while I was in meditation and thanked me for the work I had been doing to heal our family energy. I was very grateful to her for her gratitude. Our heart and spiritual connection is very strong and I continue to connect with her now that she is in pure Spirit form. Lastly, as I did healing work, I felt safer and calmer in my body and I could feel more love emanating from inside of me. 🙂