The Softening Heart

  Photo by Lisa Fotios

Photo by Lisa Fotios

We are tribal. We need each other. There are so many things we cannot nor should not do alone. A natural ebb and flow of healthy solitude and togetherness is the ideal. 

Those of us who make our living as coaches, healers, counselors, teachers, etc., often forget the importance of receiving. Giving becomes the default, the norm, the habitual groove we move in almost daily. It's easy to get stuck there, and it often requires a painful reminder that we, too, need sounding boards, guidance, feedback and mirroring. Just because we spend time seeing others' blind spots doesn't mean we can see our own.

The good news is that when I finally do become vulnerable and recognize that I need help and support, I soften, the world softens and the gifts and blessings start pouring in! I reached out to a few people recently with an entirely open heart and the response has been so genuinely kind and gracious. It makes me realize what I've missed by being so fiercely independent. Rather than power through the circumstances in my life, it felt really good to admit I was overwhelmed and feeling a bit lost and confused.

People want to share; they want to give; they want to help. Why shouldn’t I let them?

My old belief of having needs equals being a burden to someone is false. Receiving is just as important as giving. In fact, they complete a sacred circle of connection between two people. The flow does not just go one way.

Not having all the answers is perhaps the greatest blessing of all. It is what makes us beholden to others and requires us to ask for help. We know we can't lift a heavy piece of furniture by ourselves, why should we lift a heavy part of life alone? Foolishly, we often try, denying those around us with a chance to share their insights and wisdom and skills.

I hit a wall recently. My own blindness to my situation caused me to walk right into it. It wasn't until I had at least three or four conversations that the clarity finally came in (the solutions were painfully obvious). That initial clarity then led to a series of life-altering aha moments and major breakthroughs, many of which are now unfolding. This couldn't have happened without the willingness to borrow the eyesight (insight) of others who could help me see what I couldn't.

It reminded me once again that receiving needs to be a regular part of my life. It soothes and softens my heart. Knowing that some soul nourishment is in my schedule each week keeps me fresh and prevents me from burn out. Plus, trusting another to lead and guide me feels so much better than slogging through alone. 

These are big lessons. They take great heaps of courage to truly embrace them. I'm learning (again) to slow down and check in, to see what I’m being guided to do. But honestly, shifting things in my life has less to do with my outer actions than it does with my inner attitude. Holding space for love and forgiveness is powerful! Actions that arise from that place are intuitive and they feel right. Peace envelopes everything and the world feels benevolent again, rather than hostile. 

Miracles arise from an open, loving and grateful heart.

Speaking of miracles, I love when synchronicities "appear" out of the blue or happen in response to an action I was guided to take. Invitations, books, blessings and people show up as if by accident. And yet, I know they are clear indications that life is supporting me. Just knowing that there are others out there caring and holding space for me feels so good. Cultivating these relationships—creating community—is essential for well-being for each and every one of us.

Victoria Fann