Do you remember how you used to play hide and seek by putting your hands in front of your own eyes? I know, it has been a long time ago, but you might still remember this. Or maybe you’ve seen your own children apply the magic of this very cute version of playing hide and seek. Our idea was very simple – We believed that what we couldn’t see didn’t exist and we were therefore convinced that people wouldn’t be able to find us. I really love to see the way little children use the power of imagination.
What have we learned?
But I have to confess something to you now. Something that might come across as a little bold or maybe even a bit unnerving – Most of us are still playing this same ‘magical’ version of hide and seek today when it comes down to our feelings and emotions. We (kind of) believe that by ignoring what we feel inside, it will evaporate in some way. And yes, life can sometimes be too overwhelming to face head-on. That’s why our society is addicted to numbing and suppressing their feelings – think of drinking, over-eating, smoking, shopping, endless travelling or constant socializing etc. We’re looking for external stimuli to keep ignoring what we really feel deep down inside. It’s like rearranging the furniture without really cleaning the room.
I wrote “kind of believe”, because deep down inside we intuitively know that ‘rearranging the furniture’ is not a solid and permanent solution, and this is exactly where the stress starts creeping in. It doesn’t mean that we’re stupid or slow learners – we are being raised in a world that rewards us for being intellectually smart (using our head) and not for applying our heart’s wisdom and intuition.
Stress develops when the mind, the nervous system and the heart don’t communicate in an efficient and balanced way. More than 70% of the North Americans regularly experience psychological and physical symptoms caused by stress. The picture below shows you how stress can affect our bodies.
Most stress-reduction initiatives often miss the essential point. We try to relieve the after-effects of stress rather than remove the cause of the stress itself. We start jogging, we chant a mantra, we read self help books, we sign up for workshops, we have our minerals balanced, we pray, we participate in a retreat, we relive past lives and so on. We keep searching but we don’t understand the problem, and that’s why we can’t find the answer. Our rationalizing mind rather likes to keep the true causes of our emotions out of awareness and it uses the mechanism of projection to do this. It blames events or other people for causing a feeling and views itself as an innocent victim of the external causes – “he got me upset” or “they made me angry.”
Wisdom of the heart
When you take a closer look at the most ancient and respected wisdom of various cultures, but also at modern science, we can conclude that our heart is the most powerful centre from where we can access and regulate our emotions and feelings. If you are interested to learn more this subject, you might want to visit my page about the scientific research by the Institute of HeartMath.
I used to be the person who always relied on my intellectual capacity. I was trained to go through life this way, until life decided to throw me some curveballs. In 2010 I found myself in deep pain and severely stressed after the passing of my dad, my brother, my mom and a dear ski-buddy. I was a broken man who didn’t know how to heal himself.
One night, I was standing outside in the darkness. I felt very down and looked up at the sky and couldn’t ignore that it was a gorgeous sky while gazing at the billions of stars over my head. Despite all of my misery, I noticed that the universe looked so amazing and so mysterious. Whoever created this unfathomable wonder, my appreciation was limitless. Suddenly, my heart started speaking: “Do I have a choice?” wanted it to know. I spoke those words out loud without even realizing it. But I wasn’t prepared for an answer, and certainly not for an answer like this: “Of course do you have a choice – accept and try to embrace the pain that you’re feeling right now”. I didn’t see myself as a spiritual person really, and this answer that seemed to come out of nowhere took me completely off guard. For the reason that this was such an extraordinary experience, I took this advice very serious.
In the next couple of days, this remarkable answer kept repeating itself in my head and I was pondering how to ‘accept and embrace’ but no solution was being offered this time. Then I decided to let it go because ‘this trying’ made me feel even more desperate. But the moment I let it all go, was also the moment that I felt a growing connection with my heart, and suddenly I had no trouble accepting the pain I was feeling. I even began to understand that it was there for a reason! Maybe because it felt all just too intense, I began to get a very clear insight: “There must be a higher purpose for this to happen to me” I thought. That’s when I was able to embrace the pain and all the emotions.
But then something beautiful happened… I saw a gorgeous bright light and I felt an infinite love deep down inside of me and I realized: “I am Love! These dark events in my life are my gift and they are here to lift me higher than ever before. This is my healing!” I could barely believe that this was happing to me. It felt like a miracle had just happened. Unconsciously I had been playing hide and seek by covering my eyes with my hands, but by going to my heart, my hands were being taken from my eyes, and the view couldn’t be any more magnificent.
That’s how it all started – these so called ‘sad events’ were my teacher and showed me how to make the incredible journey from my head to my heart – a very fulfilling one. And once you’re there, there’s no way of ever going back: No one and no event can ever take this knowing away from me. I now inspire and help others to make that same journey, which seems so incredibly hard because we believe that it takes suffering first, or it takes many years of searching outside of yourself. But I have a message for you: “It doesn’t have to be that way!” All that you will ever need already lies inside, patiently waiting to be discovered. The most ancient civilizations already knew how to tap into this wisdom, and today’s science confirms it. Are you ready to embrace the power and love that lies inside of you?
In my next blog post I will share another story with you about my interaction with my grandma. It’s about the stuff that we believe.
I inspire and train individuals and organizations by applying the wisdom, scientific tools and techniques of accessing the power of our hearts. Feel free to visit dirkterpstra.com, follow me on Facebook, Twitter or share this story with your friends. I would love to hear from you.