Updated: Jul 7, 2021
Are you hurting or are you hearting?
After working with thousands of people throughout my career, whether it’s with hair clients, fellow stylists or, most recently coaching clients, I’ve noticed some distinct patterns that either lead to desirable or not-so-desirable results in our relationships and our (perceived) position in life.
A tendency that I’ve noticed and that I would like to bring light to is the habit of either heart-felt communication or hurt-felt communication.
The way I see it, there are really only two ways that we enter a conversation or interaction with another being, it either comes from a place of love or from a place of pain.
Even in the seemingly mundane aspects of our day, I believe this applies. We are functioning throughout each and every minute with an underlying current of emotion, and, whether we are are aware of it or not, it’s affecting our every interaction.
How do we know whether we are in a place of hurt or heart? By tapping into our emotions. There’s a river of emotional energy streaming through you right now! Can you feel it?
Let’s dive into these “rivers” and uncover what each is and see how we can make the necessary shifts so that we can have deeper and more meaningful relationships with ourselves, with others and therefore, a more fulfilling life.
Let’s begin with the most dominant of the two, hurt-felt (AKA fear-based) living and communicating.
Although my hope and dream for myself and fellow humans is to change this, the majority of us are living in a state of fear throughout most of our daily interactions. Based on modern psychology studies, the average person in North America spends 70% of their day in stress, basically the only time we are not stressed is when we’re asleep 🤯
This is because our brains, if we don’t consciously “upgrade” them, were designed to look for danger in order to keep us safe. Therefore, it spends it’s time focusing on and ruminating over those things which could cause us harm, including worrying over what we say and how we act because thousands of years ago not fitting into a tribe most likely meant death.
When we are living in fear and worry, we are practicing “hurt-felt” communication and this can be damaging to our relationships, including the one with ourselves. From this centre we tend to say and do things based on assumptions of what we believe will make us more “likeable”. We manipulate ourselves and others to suit the outcome we want, we try to control everything, whether we consciously recognize it or not, so that we can “mold” life into how we want it.
Although control may make us feel better temporarily, it is damaging. It creates inauthenticity because everything is noticeably contrived, including the interactions we have with others. Picture conversations with a friend where you feel like they’re a politician who will say anything for your vote. This is one way we may (unconsciously) act when we are in our fear centre because when we are trying to force an outcome, we are also manipulating. Remember, no one likes a sales-y politician and they definitely don’t like to be manipulated.
Hurt-felt living can also cause us to distance ourselves from others. When we are in pain, our trust levels go down which causes us to keep people at a distance. Sometimes it’s being unsure within ourselves that causes this and, if this is the case, a lack of trust in self leads to low self-esteem and low self-compassion. Furthermore, when we experience this, we automatically look at the world through the lens of this mistrust. We start to see everyone as a person to be wary of, we judge others through this negative filter. Judgement is just another facet of fear.
By contrast, being heart-centred is when we are comfortable and at ease within ourselves, when we are in a place of trust that, no matter what the outcome, we will be ok.
From this state of peace the choices we make, the words we use and the feelings we experience are all aligned and we are congruent with our values and our deepest desires for our lives. It’s that feeling of right time, right place, as if the world is coming together just as it should (even when all isn’t going as planned).
From this feeling of love and peace, AKA heart, it’s easy to find the “right” words because everything has been simplified, it’s been boiled down to the basic goodness of who we are because we are looking through the lens of love, and from this place, there can be no worry!
Imagine going about your day with the feeling that all is well in the world? How would that change the way you behave?
When I am in alignment with love, I feel empowered. I know that I am a part of this world for a reason and that I’m connected to each and every being around me. Separateness doesn’t exist and everyone I meet is like family. If I come across someone who is not in alignment with their heart, maybe they’re angry or annoyed, I have no judgements, I see it for what it is, they are in emotional pain (whether mild or extreme) and it is not a reflection of their inner being, which is unchangeably beautiful. Everyone is given the benefit of the doubt, just as I would want them to do for me.
I wish I could say that I am always heart-felt and love-centred but my default setting is one of fear and hurt and if I don’t consciously choose love, then my day looks, and feels, very different.
So how do we “upgrade” our brain to look through the love lens more often? Here is what’s working for me..
Gratitude practice morning and night. You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again because it works! I like this to be my first practice in the morning before I get out of bed and right before sleep so that I set my day and night up RIGHT, full of love and appreciation.
Check in with your feelings throughout the day. Do little mini check-ins to see where you are emotionally, try your best to label what you’re feeling. If you are not feeling aligned with love (maybe you’re irritated; my default “hurting” emotion) then practice self-compassion by recognizing that this is just your default setting because of an ancient brain 🧠 and it’s not who you really are. Next, celebrate 🥳 (internally if you’re not alone) that you are now aware of it, this will motivate you to practice higher level emotions more often.
“What’s good about this”. Ask yourself questions that lead you to higher level emotions. “Good questions inform, great questions transform” ~Ken Coleman. “The quality of your life is a direct reflection of the quality of the questions you are asking yourself”~Tony Robbins. When you ask yourself a question, your brain will always find an answer, it’s how it was designed and so if you want to start to live from your heart, simply ask yourself HOW! I love the question “what’s good about this” because it always brings me to a state of appreciation and when you are (truly) appreciating, you are automatically aligned with love.
It all boils down to where there is love, there cannot be fear. You are either heartfelt or hurt-felt, there is no in between and no way to be both simultaneously. My greatest wish for this planet is to “upgrade” to love because in doing so, I believe we will heal much of the hurt in this world. I also agree with Ghandi that it must start with each of us on an individual level, “you must be the change you wish to see in this world.”
So in the meantime, I’ll be over here putting my love glasses back on every time they slip off. Will you join me?
If you have more ideas on ways we can live more heart-felt, please leave it in the comments, the world needs your ideas,
Light and love to you always ,