On the way to my healing room from the teaching space there is a stylized plaque I purchased at Kripalu that says “Love Heals.” I hung it at the entryway to affirm to all who enter my healing room who the true source of healing is.

Something happens in the presence of love. There is an increased ability to trust, surrender, let go and release.

We’ve all experienced this. Do you recall a moment when you could no longer carry inside yourself some unwanted feeling that had gone unexpressed for too long? Then finally, the right person and circumstances opened the door for your disclosure. Like a pin prick penetrating a stuffed balloon, the energy you were carrying was set free, allowing a new lightness and ease. There came a moment when it felt safe and right to speak a truth.

If your truth is a private pain difficult to disclose and it lands on the heart of an accepting listener, healing happens. Our shadowy parts sometimes build energy on their own, convincing us we are not okay. These shadows lurk in the corners of our heart space, giving us reasons to hide, feel guilty or unworthy. But when expressed to an accepting listener, shadows dissipate like vapor.

When we do have someone to share with on a deep level, whether a healer, partner or friend, it is a blessing. What about being your own accepting listener and supporter? This skill means you can transmute harsh feelings in the moment.

Cynthia Bourgeault is one who teachers this skill. I am blessed to have been in her presence a number of times. She is a mystic, scholar, teacher and contemplative, in the tradition of Thomas Keating. Her books and retreats have had a profound impact on many people, teaching others to welcome their shadows like long lost friends.

Cynthia teaches a “welcoming practice” in which we hold all circumstances, drama, challenges, and feelings in love’s embrace. My notes from one of her retreats: “Use everything to increase the quality and quantity of your presence in conscious love.” She describes a 3-step process. 1) when you become aware you are in the grip of emotional pain, focus; 2) Welcome it; 3) Let go.

Too often we push aside our pain, our darker feelings. We squelch our fear, anger, distrust, judgments of ourselves and others. But these shadowy sides simply need some space. What we resist persists! When we bring in the breath along with a welcoming heart, we loosen the shadows hold on our energy.

Taking on the perception of neutrality is another way to soften the blows of strong emotions. I often coach clients to consider switching their perception of strong feelings. Rather than affirm “I am angry” consider “the energy of anger is moving through me.” This alternate statement affirms our own ability to be in a place of control and distance. Feelings are related to the water element and the second chakra. Water likes to keep moving, like streams, waves, rivers and waterfalls. When stagnant, water draws bugs and green stuff. In our energy system, stuck emotions draw blockages so the energy system can’t flow freely, creating a state of being “in our stuff” rather than in our joy and freedom.

It’s valuable to know how to be your own guide to offer love to your shadows. It’s also valuable to perceive close partnership or friendships as having that higher sacred quality. For those in a love relationship or not, I highly recommend Cynthia’s book Love is Stronger than Death. Here she describes an “abler” soul that is a “third being” produced from a loving partnership. This abler soul Cynthia describes comes about as a result of profound unconditional love. When we can let even our darkest shadows out and they are received in love, the strength of that love heals us and evolves us toward our own enlightenment. The abler soul is the energy of that power…a blending of two souls steeped in unconditional love for on another.

From Love is Stronger than Death: “I believe the shadow work between the partners is the real holy ground in their relationship: untidy, messy, alchemical, holy. For what is brought into being, through it, this abler soul is not simply a blending together but a fusion at a higher level. It is a new creation, forged chiefly through the melting down of each one’s chains in the fire of unconditional love.”

The closeness of that kind of relationship is rare and a blessing. But whether you are in a relationship or not, there are methods to consider for your own spiritual progress right now:

• Do you have a deep secret you’ve never told anyone? What do you feel would happen if you did tell someone and your secret landed in a loving heart?
• Next time one of a shadowy part visits your awareness, try saying “welcome.” After all, she’s coming to you for healing. Now is the chance to give her your unconditional love. Give her a name also! This helps to distance the emotions and paves a way for a conversation! Welcome “Angry Alice”, “Sad Samantha,” “Frustrated Frannie!”
• Can you accept part of yourself as one who loves you unconditionally? What name would you give her so you could call her in when you need her? Even “Higher Self” would work – sometimes we need more than one “opinion” when these strong feelings flood us.
• Is there someone in your life whom you love? How would you go about widening your love for that person? If you place conditions on the person, how would it be if you eliminated those conditions? Consider: “I love you if you love me” vs. “I love you because it is my nature to love.”

Love heals because it is the energy of compassion, forgiveness and acceptance. Love’s power wants no holding back. Give yourself total freedom to love yourself and others. Because you ARE love, and love NEEDS you for its own expression!

Author's Bio: 

Judy Christine Copp, M.Ed, RPP, RMT runs A Higher Balance Healing Center in Salem, MA where she offers private healing sessions as well as classes for personal discovery and spiritual awakening. She also offers distance healing, phone readings with angel and other oracle cards, and coaching sessions. See more information at www.AHigherBalance.com