ILLUMINATION
Published in

ILLUMINATION

Head to Heart Journey

(An excerpt from my unpublished memoir “Beliefs that Hurt — Faith that Heals”)

Several weeks ago I witnessed a miracle. I saw the transformative power of love and how it manifested itself despite years of toxic parent/child pain.

To me, this goes to prove that you can teach an old brain new tricks.

That is of course if you see thought as something that comes from wider sources than our heads i.e. the gut and the heart.

My mother-in-law was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. She no longer recognizes friends and family. Where does one find a miracle in that situation?

Kris, my wife has had a lifelong convoluted and conflicted relationship with her mother. It had reached the point that the level of toxicity was so high that we could no longer visit the family home. Then came the medical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and the fact that her mother had very few years left to live. To visit or not to visit became the question. Deep within her spirit Kris knew that the time had come to say her last goodbyes. She had also been praying that somehow her mother would be released into the arms of love as she transitioned to the next life.

The change came precisely because the operating system of her mother’s mind had crashed due to the disease state. She did not initially recognize Kris. She called her Pat. However, the blessing was that she did not remember their conflicted relationship that had developed over the decades. Her mind was a blank slate. And that created the opportunity for her to come straight from her heart.

Just imagine you could encounter a person with whom you had decades of hurt, judgment, and conflict.

And then somehow both of you felt nothing but love.

You could hint at events from the past with humor and tenderness And then after three hours that person tells you “I wish you did not have to leave” and “I love you as well”? Is that a fantasy? Or does that indicate what it means to forgive and forget? Maybe it says something deeper about all of us.

Here is how I view that situation.

Our brains are naturally hardwired for the transcendent(or whatever you name the power greater than yourself).

And the essence of that imprint is love.

The problem for most of us is that our minds are busy creating stories out of unresolved conflict and misunderstanding. These disabling narratives did not come out of thin air. There arose from actual battles that got twisted into acrimony and resentment. They clung to our psyche like barnacles to a sunken ship. Unfortunately, their continued chatter overrides most of our potential for love.

However, when we access our true nature we can discover that “the greatest of these is love”.

My wife came away from that encounter and reported “This is the first time in my life that I experienced true love with my mother”.

How then can we scrub our minds clean of a toxic past?

Do we need to microdose on mind-altering drugs? Do we wait for the tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease to hit?

Or are there other ways to access our original selves?

All I know from that episode the other day so fraught with conflict and pain is that

we can switch to another operating system, the one of our true love nature. We don’t have to be prisoners to our thoughts.

We wrote the story in our minds and we can edit out toxic elements. But in order to do this we have to find ways to access that other deeper part of the self, the one uncontaminated by thought.

This is what it means to wake up to our true selves. It is always there. It is closer than breathing. The journey from the head to the heart is possible. We can take responsibility for our own liberation and awakening right now.

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Cedric Johnson, PhD

Retired Psychologist. Pilgrim searching for a heart based spirituality and avoiding head-based dogma. Writing when I’m inspired and when I’m not