Wearing Your Heart On Your Sleeve: Is It Ever Safe?

Liesel Teversham

Liesel helps HSP introverts to embrace their sensitivity as a superpower, and overcome obstacles so they can thrive. She also works with clients to solve their health issues, and has authored 2 books. More here.

Published on 2014/02/23

Today, I’m proud and honoured to feature my friend, Lucinda Curran, from Melbourne, Australia! She’s currently on a “tour around the world” with her 2 wonderful books. More details at the bottom of the post.

Enjoy her beautiful writing!

Heart on your SleeveMel watched as her friend Sally bounced through life. Sally was open, friendly and really comfortable in her skin. She was always playful, funny and bright. Mel was really drawn to her, fascinated by her, but at the same time equally repulsed.

How was it that Sally could open her heart to the world? Didn’t she realise it made her vulnerable? How could she do that and not know how much pain she was going to experience?

Was she ignorant to the fact that being like… like… THAT was asking for trouble?

Something about Sally made Mel really uncomfortable… But what was it?

Mel had a real tussle going on deep within herself. It wasn’t even conscious. She just knew she felt weird about her friendship with Sally…

So What Was Happening Here?

The thing that drew Mel to Sally was the same thing that repelled her.
Why? Because what Sally did was unfamiliar to Mel – she wore her heart on her sleeve. Mel didn’t understand it, but wanted to. She admired it, but scorned it. She loved it, but hated it.

How can this be so?

Because Sally’s behaviour was so different to her own, it forced Mel to take a closer look at herself. To “look in the mirror,” which isn’t always comfortable.
It’s a lot like when there are a group of friends who do the same things and act the same way – there is a sense of belonging and a validation from the group because of the similarities. Yet, when someone in the group starts to do something different, it can cause no end of tension.

This is because change forces people to look at themselves and reflect on their own behaviours and ways. The result is that the boundaries of comfort zones are pushed – and usually, people don’t like this much at all.

Comfort zones are like safety nets we erect around ourselves. They allow us to feel safe, secure and comfortable. However, they can also allow us to become frozen in time. Comfort zones need to be reassessed to allow for personal growth and change.

Looking in the mirror can cause us to come face to face with our own realities. It causes us to peer inside and work out what makes us tick. It can result in us identifying what is holding us back. Looking in the mirror doesn’t always feel good. However, it can be really beneficial – and I would have to say, it is extremely worthwhile.

Looking In The Mirror

To do this, you need Quiet Time. I have written about Quiet Time in my book, Conversations About The Self. Here is an abridged excerpt from it:

I recommend creating a lot of Quiet Time in your life and searching your soul.

Quiet Time is a tough thing. Quiet Time allows you to see your inners. It brings things up. It forces you to take a good look at what is going on for you – what makes you happy, what is hurting you, what you would like to do…

I will say it again: Quiet Time is tough. It is painful, scary and uncomfortable. It involves tears, laughter and uncertainty.
Given that life is a journey – it is this sort of questing that can help you to discover your true path, or your calling.

Some Quiet Time rules:

1. The first rule of Quiet Time is to turn off all of those distractions. Busy-ness is a way to avoid dealing with things.
2. Reflect: record your ideas, thoughts and feelings.
3. Ask questions.
4. Allow yourself to feel. Quiet Time allows all sorts of unexpressed feelings to surface. Don’t beat yourself up over them – go with them. What does that mean? Simply explore them. “Wow, I am feeling incredibly angry… What is that about?” Allow it to be, allow yourself to experience and express it, and allow it to pass.
5. Whatever happens in Quiet Time is sacred to Quiet Time. You do not need to bring others into it, unless it is to heal old wounds, where you offer forgiveness or apologies.

Quiet Time is tough – and part of it is about challenging your current situation to reacquaint you with your innate direction that you may have become sidetracked from.

If you are not uncomfortable, I would suggest that you are not in the right place. Thus, any changes you make are likely to be superficial.

If It Hurts, Why Do it?

This is a fair question.

Living in a way that is not authentic, inhibits your ability to be truly happy and is something that you’d struggle with on a daily basis. That is far more painful than facing the facts and creating the life you deserve.

Although it is not an easy process, it is one that can lead to great happiness.

So, a painful process that leads you from a painful existence to living a happier life is surely worth it, don’t you think?

When you merely exist, life is mundane, you have to keep your façade up and there is suffering inside.

On the other hand, when you live, life has a magical flow, problems can be shrugged off and you can wear your heart on your sleeve because you are coming from it – in ALL of your actions and interactions.

So When Is It Safe?

When you are living, truly living, being heart-centered in all you do, it becomes impossible not to wear your heart on your sleeve. And, when you are in this space, it is always safe to do so!

I encourage you to take the plunge and begin getting to know yourself. If you are feeling a little too uncomfortable, reach out to a qualified professional for support. Having done this journey myself, I can only say how incredibly worthwhile it is.

You are worthy of living a happy life. You deserve the best. You can relax around others.

This is yours – it is waiting for you – and you can have this whenever you like.
Be courageous. Shine and Succeed!

© 2014 Lucinda Curran
Lucinda CurranLucinda Curran has always been a student of life and has enjoyed exploring, being challenged and inspired by all that life offers. She embraces learning on every level, having completed her MA, Bachelor of Health Science and more.

Her greatest passion is health: health of people, animals and the planet. Thus she is a Chinese medicine practitioner and Building Biologist with a special interest in environmental sensitivities. She combines these modalities to provide truly holistic healthcare and is passionate about making the world a safer place for all who dwell here. For more information, please visit www.ecohealthsolutions.com.auLucindas books

She is the author of Change Your Life: 50 Daily Meditation-Affirmations That Anyone Can Do and Conversations About The Self: Exploring Ideas From Change Your Life Radio. Lucinda is also the producer and host of the weekly Change Your Life Radio show.

Photo attribution
photo credit: mebrett via photopin cc


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