Have You Unchained Your Heart
When we first fall in love, our tendency is to hold our hearts ever so tenderly and then to put them out in front of our newly Beloved, asking them, however unconsciously, ‘Will you love me?’. And, in the beginning, it seems like loving us fully and completely is all that they want to live for. And we do the same for them.
Infatuation is a beautiful thing and through the fog of hormones and neuro-transmitters it is easy to miss that the newly Beloved is also a human being, with human frailties and human failings.
Once we are a few years into the relationship, instead of seeing our glorious Beloved, we see all of the frailties and failings that we had ignored before. Indeed, instead of being the perfect knight or queen we had bargained for, we end up feeling like we’re with the court jester or a tyrant. They mirror back to us all the ways that we are ‘less than’ and the cycle of wounding begins and intensifies.
Our hearts, the ones we had so trustingly and tenderly put out for them to see, have been bruised, battered + sometimes betrayed and our instinct is to pull our heart back, to wrap it in chains, to lock it in a box and to declare, ‘You don’t get to hurt me ever again’.
It seems like a good idea, but the problem with this chained strategy is that once we have locked our hearts away, they cannot grow, they cannot share, and they cannot love. We close ourselves off and our world begins to shrink.
Our hearts are not meant to be locked away, they are meant to be shared and nurtured and allowed to soar on waves of joy and beauty.
So, how do we reconcile the two realities? On the one hand we know how much it hurts to be hurt and on the other we know our heart isn’t meant to be kept in chains.
When the big, yummy man (BYM) and I work with a couple, this is often the biggest block to their having a successful marriage: their hearts have been chained up and locked away. It isn’t that they don’t know what to do to make their spouse happy, it’s that they don’t have a heart to do it anymore.
In order to re-build what has been lost we have to create a safe space for our hearts. We have to make it okay to slowly unlock the door, unwrap the chains, and bring out heart back in to play. We have to treat our hearts with the respect that they deserve – that we missed out on the first time around. We also have to forgive our spouse and push that big red ‘RESET’ button and start fresh.
If you are willing to do this, to forgive your spouse, and to begin to unwrap your heart, there is one word you MUST learn now:
Yup, that’s right. It isn’t a sexy word, and, for many of us, we were never taught how to set boundaries in a healthy way or even that it was okay to have boundaries. But, if you want to have a love that lasts, you must set and keep healthy boundaries.
Your heart is precious. It deserves to be protected and cherished. And it needs to be shared.
The truth is, hurt is never one-way in a marriage relationship. We hurt each other. And because we know each other so deeply, so intimately, we are able to wound with swift viciousness in a way that we would *never* try to get away with, with a friend. You. Me. Them. We can be cruel. Especially when we feel we have been wounded and that we’re just protecting ourselves or ‘evening up the score’.
There is no ‘even score’ in a marriage. There is no fair. There is only continual forgiveness and grace. If one of you wins and the other loses, you have both lost. Marriage must be all-in, never 50-50.
Begin the process of re-building now by deciding.
Decide to forgive. (It’s okay if you don’t know HOW to forgive, just decide now that you’re willing to.)
Decide to re-build.
Decide to unlock the door and unchain your heart.
But, always, always, always, set boundaries first so that your heart will know – finally and for all – that you – yes, you, precious one – that you will protect and cherish it. That you will take care of you and that you will never toss your heart out unprotected for the world to stomp on. You will lay down loving boundaries that will keep your heart free to love.
When you do this, you aren’t closing your heart or hardening your heart, you’re finally giving it the respect that it deserves. It is too important, too precious to be tossed around.
When you do this, your heart will grow resilient.
To love means to experience loss and that means we will all have bruised and battered hearts at one time or another. If you love the world, your heart will be broken again and again. But, if you cherish your heart and listen to your heart and nurture your heart, you will never again have to keep it chained and locked away. Instead of hardening your heart, you can allow it to soften and be shared.
A heart that is broken grows and becomes more resilient when it is cherished by its owner.
Now is the time for you to decide to soften, to open, to grow. It is what your heart was made for and it is your destiny.
If you need any support, please let me know in a private message, or apply for a Discovery Session HERE and it will be my honour to help you set those boundaries and create a life of love, that you love.
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Tagged as: Tools for Life Change