By Leigh Randolph, M.S., D.D.S.
often define ourselves by how we think about things, what we think
about, and how we solve problems. Each of those aspects is important to
how we function in the world, and how we manage our daily lives. What
are your thoughts about the upcoming election? What do you think about
your job or the significant people in your life?
happens when you think about a sunrise, or maybe one of your favorite
childhood memories? What if that’s not the right question? When you
stand at daybreak watching patterns of clouds and colors change as a new
day dawns, and the world begin anew, how do you feel? When you happen on
a favorite childhood memory and you see images in your mind’s eye,
recall smells and tastes and tactile memories stored in your brain, how
do you feel? Are you as comfortable with your feelings as you are with
of us are not. The culture that we live in is left brain, analytical and
logically oriented. That orientation has given us an expansive
encyclopedia of science and its technology, mathematics, our legal
system, and western medicine to name a smattering. As we have made
technology and rational thought our religion it has brought us health
issues whose etiology is the stress in our lives and our inability to
honor our own feelings.
Buddha said “The way is not in the sky, the way is in the heart”,
and yet, our mechanistic view of the world has led us to a highly
developed intellect and a forgotten spiritual heart. That pattern keeps
an important part of who we are, hidden. What must we do to let the
light in our heart out into the world?
disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and kills
more women these days than breast cancer. The research around breast
cancer has shown a significant correlation between the incidence of
right breast or left breast tumors and unresolved emotional issues with
the patient’s father (right) or mother (left). It is unfortunate that
the same kind of work hasn’t happened to acknowledge heart disease and
the unresolved pain of a broken heart. We live so much in a world that
demands proof and logic that we don’t often allow ourselves space in
life to check in with our difficult emotions and feelings. Those
feelings include the leftover ache from difficult decisions where there
was no easy choice for right or wrong, the pain of ended relationships
that couldn’t last for some reason, and include the flare of anger -
either inward or outward when we express the anger, but don’t stop to
ask ourselves why we feel it, or the real meaning behind those feelings.
the Huichol of Mexico, and other indigenous tribes use the deer as the
animal symbol to represent the heart. The Huichol call themselves the
People of the Deer, and are a peace loving tribe dedicated to healing
both body and soul. They understand both aspects of our nature as beings
on this planet.
how do we bridge the shade that keeps us from our feeling nature?
Carl Jung said “Your vision will become clear only when you
look into your heart”. Our
thoughts are important, but when we live only in our head, our heart
aches not from emptiness, but from the fullness of a lifetime’s pain
unexpressed and unhealed. That ache keeps us from fully experiencing
life because part of us is still caught in the pain of the past.
Sometimes folks deny the pain completely and continue to recreate that
ache because they are caught in a loop and don’t know how to let those
feelings be a part of their growth, rather than the scratch in the lens
through which they view their world. It is a fine line to walk, because
we can rationalize our way into logic (“Get over it, life goes
on.....”) as easily as we feel sorry for ourselves and get caught in
the powerless version of a story.
difficult part of the journey for most of us is that thinking about the
pain doesn't resolve it. It is important to make space in our lives -
moments, hours, or whatever is needed to feel in our bodies where we
have stored that pain. It is also important to make that space to honor
those difficult feelings. Jalla al-Din Rumi offered:
is a way between voice and presence
disciplined silence it opens.
wandering talk it closes.
willingness to honor the pain and the grief allows space for healing, as
does acknowledging that some choices in life are difficult.
we can sit in stillness and allow that information to be shared within
ourselves we honor who we are and healing begins to happen. With that
opening we begin to let in the light to find out how those experiences
have made space for growth and deeper personal experiences as our
accumulated wisdom has become more profound. By feeling that pain as a
powerful lesson that increases the wattage of our own light, we
illuminate and lessen our own burden bringing greater light to a world
deeply in need of healing.
Randolph, D.D.S, M.S. is a Board Certified Endodontist who has a private
dental practice and teaches dentistry at The Ohio State University. She
is a certified Visionary Craniosacral Work™ practitioner, Holistic
Coach™, Reiki Master, and Family Constellation Facilitator.