Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Conversations with the Heart

There are times in our lives when memories come up that are still attached to emotions that we carry in our hearts. You can often see this on the faces of others when they are recalling a story in their past. Emotions such as love, pain, anger and fear are the strongest when this appears.

I remember one time when I was taking art classes in college. I was walking though a different part of the art department and I caught the smell of oil paint which took me completely off guard. It was like being tackled in a football game that knocks the wind out of you. For a few seconds I was knocked out of myself and transported back to a childhood memory of running around my father's studio.

There was no sense of control for I was moved out of one state of being into another for only a few seconds with a single smell. A whole movie played in my head and the emotions of love and contentment filled me up. As I stood there blinking and getting my bearings I began to miss my dad. I was in my early 20's when this happened.

It was much later, as I began to mature that this one experience allowed me to see how strong a past memory can be and how it can effect our lives in healing. You may be familiar with the term "Old Tapes" which I know is used to describe old memories that somehow effect our lives.

Most of the time it is in reference to a behavior that we have been conditioned to form our past. Often it can be triggered by something and the emotions attached can be very strong. The clearest examples are people who have been in wars or suffered some sort of trauma. But these experiences are not unique to only a few. We as human beings share this and I guess you can say, it is what makes us all very human.

Understanding who we are inside and what are our triggers, are really the first steps in changing our lives. Now remember that the experience I shared was strong but it was positive, so know that a negative experience can be almost devastating if it comes in with that amount of strength.

It is important to be conscious that all of us are different in how we experience things in life. Know to that if you have not suffered something as traumatic as war, your body may record an experience with the same amount of painful emotions as someone who did. It is how the Creator made you as a unique individual.

One person can walk away form something and not be affected where as another person may fall apart. It is all how we perceive things. We can't judge ourselves or others by comparison.

Please understand to, that by growing up in the art world I might see things a little differently. So one of the things I started to notice was the wonderful symbols that surround our lives. Thank about it, we have art, writing, people, clothes, companies and products just to name a few. Symbols are all around us. All of these things in our lives represent some sort of personal status that we attach to them. Whether we are conscious or unconscious we believe in these things.

All of this reminded me of a movie I saw as a young adult, as the kid in the movie was chasing Vampires and holds up a cross. The line that gets me is the Vampire looks at the kid and says, " It wont work" the kid says, "why not", and the Vampire says "because you don't believe." Wow, I realized then, that it is though our faith of what these symbols represent to us, that give them power.

Wondering where I am going..... here is the thought. When these experiences in life pop up unexpectedly you can use a symbol that you believe in. An example can be the cross or whatever you believe in to stand between you and the memory. It doesn't matter what it is as long as you believe. This is personal and between you and the Creator.

Once you place the symbol of your choice in the gap, then try to remember that what you are experiencing is only a memory and you are safe. All the emotions and images that are attached to it are on the other side of your symbol. It is by being conscious of that, you can decide to examine the situation with or without emotions or ask for it to leave when you are ready. You are taking back your control with these conversations of the heart.

Traumatic memories keep coming up because the experience is unfinished business recorded in your heart which can be triggered by something around you. The symbol is only a tool to fill in the gap to help you revisit it when you are ready.

A professional Councilor or Psychologist can help to, if you need assistance. You just have to ask. The biggest part about healing is knowing that it all begins within you.


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