Heart Chakra: Acknowledging Negative Self-Talk
Now that we’ve looked at the chakras that are closer to the ground, that have more to do with how we walk the world, feel and act, we are moving up the chakras of thought - our inner worlds.
Using the image of a phone to explain the heart chakra (as I did with the solar plexus, sacral chakra, and root chakra), we are tempted to think of dating apps straight away as analogies of the heart chakra. But if I’m honest, as hard as I’ve been looking for an equivalent to how this chakra works, I have yet to find one that we actually use (or even exists!) for this one.
The heart chakra houses your sense of compassion, empathy, self-acceptance, altruism, your ability to embrace both your feminine & masculine sides and of course, where you find your ability (and right) to love and be loved.
Without your heart chakra functioning properly, you might fear intimacy and relationships, lack empathy and be intolerant towards yourself and others and show signs of narcissism, but you might also feel easily jealous and demanding, or lacking boundaries and be overly sacrificing. Sounds familiar?
In our world, it has become normal to hate on every little piece of our body and mind, to be cold in a relationship for fear of risking too much, to be jealous when people have more or better than we do, and worse, to beat ourselves up for everything we do, don’t do, should be doing and are not doing, and on and on and on.
If we’ve landed in a place where we cannot give love to ourselves and receive it from ourselves, how do we give it to others? Receive it from others? How do we know what kind of love works for us? It all starts with you.
Your right to love and be loved
According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, love is ‘warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion,’ but also ‘unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another.’
Therefore, it is your right to express attachment, enthusiasm, and devotion along with concern for your own well-being just as much as it is your right to express and feel these for others. It is your right to do what it takes to feel you matter, to feel there is space for you to be who you are, and that you are loved just the way you are.
No matter how much you get from TV, movies, the radio, songs, magazines, friends, family, and social media, making you believe you aren’t deserving of love, I am very happily (and in the most determined of ways) reminding you that it is your human birthright to be loved. There is nothing to change, nothing to update, nothing to tweak, nothing to stop or start doing.
And love starts with you: the way you talk to yourself, act with yourself, take care of yourself determines how you see this right and how you claim it as yours. As cheesy and weird as it sounds, you can truly decide to replace the hateful voices in your head by compassionate, loving and caring ones. If you focus on showing love to yourself, the rest will automatically follow as you’ll be setting up an example that the world has to follow - both for loving you and loving themselves.
Negative self-talk, the loudest sign that your heart chakra needs attention
Negative self-talk is truly a plague in today’s world; it has become so normal and widespread that it often goes unnoticed. It has become part of our mind’s wallpaper. Always there in the back and yet we’ve stopped paying attention to it. It has become so normal to be hard on ourselves; we’ve lost touch with what makes us special and lovable just as who we are.
Self-talk refers to how you talk to yourself inside your head, the words you use to describe your actions, thoughts, emotions, body, everything relating to you, really. When it's negative, it can simply be thinking you have failed at picking your outfit today to thinking you have failed at making your biggest life decisions. Thoughts of not being good enough, not doing enough, thinking there is something wrong with you are all ways you talk negatively about yourself and to yourself.
Your own relationship with yourself is highly affected by negative self-talk - just imagine how a loved one might feel if you talked as negatively to them as you talk to yourself, picking on the smallest faults and aspects of their bodies you consider imperfect. Chances are your loved one will have run far away by the time you finished your sentence, and you will call your friends out for talking this way to or about someone. Why would you let these thoughts spin in your own head?
Journaling to stop the thoughts from twirling around
The good news is (you knew this was coming, you know me by now…), it’s all a choice.
And it starts with acknowledging: when you acknowledge negative self-talk, you’re already doing half the work to get rid of it and turn it into productive comments and compassionate talks.
The best advice I was ever given is to journal when a negative whirlwind hits you and you find it hard to stop the thoughts, wishing you could go into hibernation and come back when the storm had passed. Unfortunately, the storms come back and nothing works better than you doing the work to let the talks go and turn into learning and growing.
Here are 4 steps you can take to stop the negative self-talk:
- Grab a notebook and pen, or piece of paper or a notes app and write everything that comes to mind. Everything. Don’t censor yourself. Be as mean, hateful, hard on yourself as it sounds in your own head.
- When you’re done, take a couple of minutes to notice your breath. Close your eyes, release the muscles in your face, shoulders, hands. Breathe.
- Come back to your notes and observe. Take a moment to answer these questions: What are you noticing? Do you see patterns? Are there topics you know always come back?
- Now if a loved one came to you with these words and comments, what would you tell them? How could you soothe them? How would you be the caring, loving, compassionate friend you are? Now’s the time to be that friend to yourself. Write everything that comes to mind down, be as loving as you can be.
Come back to this exercise as often as the negative self-talk storm comes in.
And remember that it.is.up.to.you - you can choose to let the thoughts eat you, or you can turn them around and turn your relationship with yourself into an accepting, caring, loving, forgiving and compassionate one. You choose.
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