I want to be a bit vulnerable here. Vulnerability is something that I have had to work on a lot and is something that does not come naturally to me, nor does it to most of us, I believe. I want to talk about the process of owning your truth.
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.Matthew 18:2-3, New Testament (KJV)
There is a reason why Jesus taught that we should become as little children to inherit the kingdom of God. King Benjamin, from the Book of Mormon, taught his people that the natural man is an enemy to God and to overcome the natural man we should “become as a child”.
19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.Mosiah 3:19, Book of Mormon
But why is that? Why like a child? Surely heaven is not made up of screaming children who can’t share their toys or angsty teenagers who only think of themselves. That surely is not heaven for me!
Instead, think back to when you were a child – how carefree you were and how you were emotionally bare. You wore your heart on your sleeve, had no worries or a care in the world, and found wonder and awe in even the smallest of things. You had nothing to hide and feared nothing, and because of your nature you had unlimited capacity for joy.
I love this quote from Robin Sharma,
When we were kids, we were emotionally naked. We held our vulnerability in our open palms for all the world to see. Yes, we were that strong. We spoke honestly of our fears, cried innocent tears, risked taking risks, stayed true to ourselves and felt safe revealing our brilliance to anyone who cared to see it.
And because we were peaceful feeling any pain that we naturally felt as human beings participating in the human experience, we also had complete access to the happiness that we are all meant to know.Robin Sharma, The Everyday Hero Manifesto, Chapter 47: To Heal Your Once Wide-Open Heart Makes You a Great Master
As we grow into adults, we learn to “protect ourselves” by establishing walls and barriers to shield us from the pain, the suffering, the emotional wounds the world inflicts upon us. We stop living from the heart and learn to live life from the mind. We do this to protect our tenderness and vulnerability, because we learned (erroneously) that to feel tenderness was to appear foolish and to be vulnerable was to display weakness.
With our minds in control, we give way to worry rather than cheer, we compete rather than create, and we are ungrounded rather than centered and calm. When we begin to feel emotional pain and suffering, our minds quickly escorts those feelings to some place deep within us, and locks them away, so we can continue presenting our specious mask of to the world.
I believe this is why our Savior admonished us to become as little children; why King Benjamin taught that as how to overcome the natural man. By becoming “submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love” we allow the heart-mind to take control, and we start to regain the ability to self-care for the wounds inflicted by the emotional pain and suffering.
When we become as children, we start to feel our feelings again. We drop the barriers, the walls, the protections we put in place to shelter our true selves from those feelings. We chip away at the hard shell we put around our hearts and the fictitious mask we present to the world. As we process our feelings deeply, we can release them, never to carry that same pain again. We begin to heal those emotional wounds and in doing so can unlock the power of our divinity within us and truly experience the fullness of joy this life has to offer!
This is hard to do, I know. It is painful, sometimes can feel embarrassing, to wear your heart on your sleeve for the whole world to see. But I can promise you that it is worth it. I am still working on this myself — to present to the world my authentic self and not some counterfeit self to make people see me as I wish to be. I am simply working on being the person I wish to be.
This quote from Sarah Blondin gives me hope.
Our hearts house the essence of life and source. They are the well of divinity within us, which when aligned with, awakened, and re-connected to, will eradicate and heal, forgive and dispel, and reconcile and release each hurtful relationship and memory. Our hearts are the source of our inspiration to spread and stir love and goodness throughout the world. I would go so far as to say that if each of us were to choose to live in alignment with our hearts, the world would have no choice but to find peace. The earth would thrive. How could it not?Sarah Blondin, Heart Minded, Introduction
So, I say to you here — own your truth. Take charge of your life and responsibility for how you feel. Own your truth and let your heart-mind, your true self, your divine nature overrule your mind. Re-connect with your heart-mind, awaken it, and own your emotional pain and suffering. I can attest that, as you do this, you will immediately begin to experience the emotions of a higher plane, such as gratitude, joy, hope, and charity.
And when your heart is in control, you will feel those higher order emotions more intensely as well.