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Opening the Heart and Exploring Beneath the Surface

Exploring beneath the surface of a reoccurring relationship issuecan be tedious and scary. Seeing beyond a nagging health challenge tothe 'deeper issue' requires courage, faith and trust.

Unwanted feelings and thoughts are rich territory to dive beneaththe surface for fresh insights that open the heart. When we take the timeto peel away the layers that have us stuck or paralyzed we reap thebenefits of self-acceptance, compassion, and liberation from fear.

Let's look at what may be underneath a chronic response of anger.Chronic reactive angry responses can disrupt relationships,derail important business deals, and cause high blood pressure.

Imagine for a moment that you are floating along on the ocean of feelingsunwilling to accept that the choppy waves to your left signifyanger. If you put on snorkeling gear and dive under them, youwill see a whole new world.

Beneath the anger you will most likely find a hurt or a fear.Complete the following sentences with yourself:

**Each time I think of __________I get angry.

**If I feel this anger, I'm afraid that ___________.

**When I feel this anger, I am hurt about __________.

Remember, avoid assigning personal meaning to these feelings.(I'm such a terrible person for feeling and thinking this way.)

Just swim around with your snorkel securely in place,investigating the fear or hurt that lie beneath the anger.

Surface briefly and reflect about the role your anger plays. Hereare a few possibilities:

**Anger is a shield that protects a part of me that feels afraidor hurt.

**Anger is a red flag alerting me to the presence of fear orhurt.

**Anger is a messenger. A part inside must feel afraid or hurt.

Now take a deep breath and dive again, looking next to the fearor hurt for a judgment it may have spawned, such as thefollowing:

**If people knew I was afraid they would reject me.

**I'm pathetic for being afraid of this.

**Feeling hurt is weak and foolish.

**Because I feel hurt I am unworthy of love.

To further complicate opening our heart the mind adoptsblack and white thinking. Desperately needingto stay in control of life and make sense of the world, weresort to rejecting what we see as wrong (bad, inappropriate,immoral) and cling to what we see as right (good, appropriate,moral).

When the heart opens, making sense of the world is not asimportant as being happy, finding lasting peace, feeling healthyand stress free, and getting a good night's sleep. Restrainingfrom taking a position about the world, other's behavior, ourperformance at work allows the heart to thaw out revealing depthsof information that quiets fear and loosens the grip of control.We then can live authentically rather than self-righteously.

Questions for Letting Go of Black/White Thinking:

1.If I am judging my husband/wife/boss/ friend do I also judgemyself in the same way?

2.Am I condemning my mistakes or lack of perfection because I amafraid of failing or being seen as a failure?

3.Do I judge anger (fear, sadness, caring, loving) as wrong inothers because I see it as wrong in myself?

4.Do certain people get on my nerves because I'm afraid theirbehavior resembles my own?

5.If I want to be happy rather than right in this situation, whatdo I need to accept and forgive in myself?

Snorkeling can open the mind to what is really going on in ourocean of feelings. But only self-acceptance can uncover thesetruths and open the heart. Then inner fears can be comfortedand judgments forgiven. Compassion replaces blame and shame,and we discover a place of peace and well-being beyond thechoppy surface waters. Next time there isa challenge we can don our snorkeling gear with theexperience of knowing that what lies underneath ouranxiety is a safe refuge ? our open, loving heart.


Rebecca Skeele, author of You Can Make It Heaven:How to Enrich Your Life with Abundance and Loving is an ordained minister. She has a MA in Spiritual Counseling and MSS in Spiritual Science. She has a private practice in Santa Fe as a life coach and counselor.Rebecca is an international workshop leader and speaker inspiring people to become masterful at cocreating theirpersonal heaven on earth.

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