Screen Shot 2016-08-03 at 11.33.22 AM

Heartbeat rising. Breathing stops. Stomach tenses. Mind goes blank for a second.


No, I’m not talking about erotic delight, I’m talking about hurt feelings.


Ah, hurt feelings. An old friend that I know well.


If there were an honorary accomplishment award for hurt feelings – I would definitely be a contender, if not global prize-winner.


When I look back over my past four decades as a whole pie and imagine how much of my precious life energy has been an attempt to outrun, get away from or recover from hurt feelings, I’d reckon a good quarter of the pie would be devoted to this area.


When I reflect upon the countless women that come through my office for coaching that have learned to live in their heads, disconnected from their hearts and out of touch with their body-feelings, I see I am not alone in how we each armor against life in different ways.


I observe the mental assessments of pain, the conceptual understandings of what the issues are, the rational narrative given about times of despair in the past, the forced smile that shields the hidden stories of mistreatment, broken trust and heart-ache.


These are all the clues that I look for that tell me that the bridge that leads from the woman’s head to her heart has been broken.


She has become exiled within the walls of her very own fortress – created at one time for protection and now serving as a solitary holding cell.


Why does this even happen?  When life was at one time intolerable – be it the first time dad turned you away when you really needed a hug, the first boyfriend who didn’t treat you well, when mom was too consumed with her own resentments to notice you or the uncle that touched you inappropriately – a wall started to be built.


Stone by stone, incident by incident, a wall gets built up to protect us from…our feelings.


I get it. Oh Lordy do I get it.  The waters of emotion can be at times joyfully glorious – as sunlight shining on the shimmering lake. Or they can be the tranquil mirror whispering to us of our divine heritage as wise women who hear the thrum of life just under the surface.


Or they can be like a torrential storm of confusion and rage followed by a deluge of blame-filled tears.


Unchartered waters through the territory of old hurts, past resentments and unprocessed pain all lend themselves to doing whatever we can to stay safe. To stay on solid, familiar ground.


And thus our coping mechanisms are faithful allies – teaching us how to cut off, split off, shut down or lash out. Protecting us from feeling vulnerable, out of control and unsafe.


Until you learn how to be with them, that is. Step Two in The Journey of Extraordinary Love walks women through this crucial phase in which we reclaim our ability as healers to tend to our own hearts, by the grace of God.


What at one time felt intolerable becomes bearable when we remember our capacity to be with ourselves, and our feelings in a new way. As a loving friend.


It takes a wildly courageous heart to stay present and stay open to feelings. To say yes as we ride the waves through, holding strong in our strength of compassion and caring as we go.


Listen here to a short audio that describes this journey towards reclaiming our strength in our feelings, by learning how to be with our hurt feelings.

How To Be With Hurt Feelings

  1. Stop. Slow down. Take a deep breath. Soften inside. Take another breath.
  2. Get present. Ask yourself “What am I feeling?”. Name it. Welcome it.
  3. Place a hand on where it hurts. Maybe it’s your heart or your belly. Where do you feel it in your body?
  4. Kind words – offer yourself kind words that reflect caring and understanding.

And this, dear sisters, is how we restore ourselves to ourselves. This is how we become whole again – by turning towards ourselves when we must need our own support.

In the comments over in my Facebook group Extraordinary Love, I’d love to hear:

-How you have used the practice of turning towards yourself with kindness when hurting and what riches you discovered?

-Or if you have not yet practiced this, tell me how you are going to work with this today and jump back on tomorrow to let me know how it went for you.

Can’t wait to hear from you!