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In Defense of Your Heart

February 12, 2018


­heart shield

Today I’m talking about your internal defense system – the filtering mechanism that protects your heart from the slings and arrows of other’s words.

People can be thoughtless, even cruel

People can be critical, even cruel, in their comments to you. People can be intrusive with their opinions about you.  And sometimes, even when they mean to be kind, their words can sting.

However, others’ words have an impact, because you allow them too.  Because you take them as truth and then to heart. Because you give those opinions the dignity of validity, even when they are not factual.

You have a choice, but it’s hard

But you do have a choice.  You can continue to give them far too much weight and importance or you can just see them as someone else’s viewpoint and nothing more.

Two reasons

For many of us, that can be difficult to do and that’s at least for a couple of reasons.

We’ve been conditioned to regard other people’s assessments as more important than ours. This likely began when we were young and vulnerable, sensing that our survival and well-being depended on our parent’s/caregiver’s approval of us.

We believe that we are not worthy of love if we are not pleasing to others. Again, this state of being often stems from our childhood experiences.

Three corrections

But there are some greater counteracting truths.

♥  You have a right to weigh and measure what comes out of other people’s mouths. Their opinions about you are just that – theirs. These people are not truth determiners.

♥  You have a right to feel good about yourself. No one has the right to diminish you or disrespect you.

♥  You have a right to protect your heart, mind and spirit from the judgements and criticisms of others. What comes in through your ears doesn’t have to pierce through to your core.

They are disqualified

Then there is this thought. If others really don’t think you are good enough, they are, in Dr. Rick Hanson’s terms, “not qualified”.

And you could take this concept a step further and say that if someone doesn’t think you’re good enough, they are disqualified from membership in your circle and your life.  Period. No exceptions.

Tough, maybe. But necessary.

You are the overseer of your internal defense system. But, remember, your internal defense system shouldn’t be a steel-girded barrier. Nor should it be an attack launching pad.

Rather, it is a wisely discriminating filtering system that sifts through what is directed at you, allowing in what’s helpful and disallowing what isn’t.

And you, and only you, are the decider.