I’ve been reflecting a lot over the past week on the power of words. How they have the potential for great healing or great pain. Many times both couples and individuals come to me to receive support in improving their communication. They may feel any one of the following ways: that they aren’t being heard, don’t know how they feel, or, how to communicate their feelings effectively. I’m sure we have all struggled with this at some point in our lives. Oftentimes, our communication challenges are most evident in the relationships with those closest to us.
Communication is a core part of our relationships. As such, I plan to dedicate one post a month to this and other issues that impact our intimate relationships. I chose the title Finding Your Heart Words for this post because this speaks to me on a personal level. I also chose it because I believe it is these words that have the power to heal our broken relationships.
What Are “Heart” Words?
Heart words are the words that speak the most honestly about what is going on in our hearts. These are the words that express what is true and authentic in each of us. They are the words that speak of our sadness and pain. But they also speak of our greatest joys and the things that ignite our spirits. It can be difficult to access these words at first, however, because they are often masked by anger, jealousy, insecurity, and fear. Because of this, some of us may have difficulty finding these words because we are afraid to dig deep enough to uncover them.
Reaching Beyond the Pain and to the Heart
If you would like to connect with and learn how to express your heart words, I want to give you some questions to ask yourself. These questions are designed to help you begin the healing process. These are just a few of several you will want to explore as you begin the journey towards your heart. Be prepared for tears as well as laughter because you may experience both on this journey.
Question 1: What is on the surface?
When we don’t know where to start it is best to start with what we do know. Our surface emotions are the ones that others can often know because of our words or body language. For this first exercise I want you to complete the following statements. Write out as many “I Feel” statements as you can until you’ve captured all of the emotions you have access to. If you have trouble identifying some feeling words, please click here and use this list to help you.
- I feel _________________ because __________________
- I also feel ____________________
Question 2: What is underneath?
Now that you have identified your feelings, the next step is to connect with the need that they are pointing to. There is always an underlying need that drives our behaviors. In order to learn how to connect with your heart words, it is important to identify what these needs are. Please complete the “I need” statements below. Please click here to see a list of core needs that will help you.
- I need _______________because_________________
- I also need _______________________
Question 3: What am I afraid to admit to myself?
This third question is really tough because we need to be willing to admit that we are vulnerable. Most of us don’t like to feel vulnerable, because we mistakenly equate vulnerability to weakness. Admitting that we have vulnerabilities actually creates space for us to have authentic and genuine connections with another human being. There is actually a lot of beauty in being vulnerable and it opens the door to finding your heart words. I want to encourage you to really dig deep and complete the following statements for yourself.
- I am afraid to admit this need to myself and others because it means______________________
- It also means____________________
I encourage you to answer the questions above as honestly as possible. If you have a particularly challenging relationship right now, I encourage you to reflect on that relationship as you answer the above questions. Once you are able to get honest with yourself about how you are feeling, this paves the way for you to more accurately and effectively express it to others.
Please come back again next week as I will share another Artful Affirmation with you. This relationship/communication series will return on the fourth Friday of next month.
Also, if you have discovered a way to uncover your heart words, I encourage you to share what has helped you with the other readers in the comments section below.