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Healing the hurting heart

Founder of The Mindful Moment, Dr. Alexandra Domelle shares how you can heal your heart


"As we open ourselves to healing our hearts, may we feel the love the flows to us and through us." - Alexandra Domelle


Every one of us, at one point or another in our lives, has been hurt.


Hurt by thoughts. Hurt by words. Hurt by deeds. Whether these were carried out by others or ourselves, we still felt pain, suffering, and heartache.


This is the hurt of the heart.


While physical wounds heal and leave a scar visible for the world to see, those of the heart remain hidden, locked, and buried. These are the deep wounds that often refuse to heal, festering away, affecting every part of our body, mind and soul.


Soon it becomes hard to point at one place and say that is where it hurts, that is where the hurt begins, and that is where the hurt ends.


How do we heal that which has no one place of beginning or end?
How do we heal that which we carry as a heavy burden that no one can see, feel or touch?
How do we heal that which stays with us always, a constant reminder of the past?

This is the hurt of the heart.


There are things we do, things we are not proud of, things that we believe are the only choice, all in attempts to ease the hurting heart.


We bury it with food. We drown it with drink. We numb it with pills. We push it down deep within ourselves, stifling it with every excess, every vice, everything we can think of.


And sometimes it works, if only for a little while.


These are the moments we are oblivious to our pain for new distractions are competing for our attention. But this pleasure is short-lived. As soon as the high wears off, we come crashing down, back to the hurting, back to the suffering, back to the pain. It throbs, it aches, it tears us apart.


This is the hurt of the heart.


Much of what we suffer is due to the layers and layers of pain we’ve built inside.


Think back to the first time you felt hurt by something that was thought, said or done. Chances are, this is a memory from long past, most likely your childhood.


Did you ever get the chance to let go of that hurt?


And has it sat in your heart all this time, being built and added to, every time something similar happened?


What of the child within you from all those years ago — did she ever get the chance to cry, to speak, to heal the hurt?

Often these moments get lost in time, lost to everyone, except us. We carry this hurt in our heart, replaying, reliving, and re-imagining the horror, the pain, and the injustices of the past.


Too often we are taught to go around the pain, and this is where the food, drink, drug or other distraction comes in. We think it’s easier this way, but of all the times we’ve tried it the pain still keeps coming back, sometimes more intense than ever.


And thus, we go through life feeling so alone, so empty and so undone. This is what it is to feel lonely in a room full of people. This is what it is to look at the faces of our loved ones and feel that no one truly knows us. This is what it is to smile and know that you are cracking, crumbling, breaking inside.


This is the hurt of the heart.


Now that we know none of these other things works: how about if we tried something different? Something that may feel scary but hey, what have we got to lose? Best case, it begins to heal our heart, and worst, we are back to where we started.


So rather then going around the pain, how about if we went through it?

For this, we find a safe place to sit, one that feels comfortable and nurturing. We sit in silence allowing our thoughts to rise and subside, just like our breaths. We let each one come and go without the need to hold on to any of them. If we find ourselves being pulled away, we gently bring ourselves back to the moment. Here we sit and breath and wait for our heartache to appear.


We feel it surface from deep within ourselves, but just like we predicted, there is no one point of origin. It comes to us from all directions, undulating waves of hurt, rising to the surface. This is years of grief, of pain and hurt that we have kept under lock and key.


And for the first time in our lives, we are finally acknowledging its existence. We are finally giving it space to breathe. We are finally letting it go.


There are memories here. There are thoughts, and words, and emotions. There are moments about which no one else knows. And we are letting them all go.


The tears come. This is inevitable. For as the discomfort rises, our body responds. We let those tears flow. Let them wash away the pain. We allow ourselves to grieve and gently let go.


This is not a pity party. It is not about going round-and-round in circles, hating, hurting, and ascribing blame. This is not about finding fault, dreaming the what-ifs or resolving to make someone pay.


For all these things will only harden our heart, trapping that pain deeper into our soul. And hard hearts sees the world through hard eyes, living in a place of anger, hatred, and indifference. There is no place in such a heart for kindness, love and compassion.


A healing heart makes room for forgiveness.

This is forgiveness of others and ourselves. For as much as we blame others, there is some blame, no matter how small, that lives within us. This is the self-blame for all the not enough’s — for all the times we felt we were not strong enough, brave enough, or smart enough.


When we realise that we did the best we could in all those moments in the past and that no matter how many times we relive them, we cannot change what happened, we can finally begin to let go.

Peace comes with a healing heart.

This peace fills the gaps left behind by the pain leaving our body, mind and soul. This peace is a quiet, soothing balm that seeks to calm and restore us. This peace always waits for us; right up till the moment we draw our last breath, seeking only to help, to heal, to make us whole again.


A hurting heart takes time to heal.


It requires patience, gentleness and care. This healing continues until our heart is restored to how it once was when we were born. It takes us full circle back to that moment when we first came into this world, knowing that we are complete, perfect, sacred and divine.


It teaches us to be authentic, honest and vulnerable, not just for one moment, but in every moment of our lives. At first glance, this may look as though we live as weaklings, but this is far from the truth.


A healed heart knows what sorrow is, and for that, it appreciates joy all the more.
A healed heart knows what despair is, and for that, it appreciates hope all the more.
A healed heart knows what hatred is, and for that, it appreciates love all the more.
A healed heart knows what loss is, and for that, it appreciates how precious life is.

This is what it takes to heal the hurting heart.


There are no quick fixes, instant remedies or fast cures. This is a journey into ourselves, of allowing our deepest, innermost truths to surface, and realising that despite our beliefs, we are not alone.


Everyone has a hurting heart.


We can choose to ignore our pain and that of others, or we can choose to heal our hurting hearts.


The choice, as always, is ours.