For many of us, Valentine’s Day serves to remind us of love. Even though it is the holiday of love we do not always act in a loving way towards the people in our lives. Sometimes angry words are said and feelings are hurt, either intentionally or unintentionally.
I have recently been reminded of a technique a girlfriend told me about years ago. It goes like this. You have a heated exchange with someone you care about. My girlfriend and her spouse have on hand a stuffed velvet heart about 5 inches in diameter. They bring it out to help them talk to each other when the discussions get heated. This velvet red heart symbolizes speaking from the heart. The person holds the heart while they are speaking and then their discussion comes from their heart. When one person is done sharing from their heart they hand the red velvet heart to the other person and they get to speak from their heart - without the other interrupting them. Negative words that might have otherwise been said do not come out, but they are replaced by softer more hearable words.
Another technique I use is visualizing my conversation coming from my actual heart space where I see my heart space opening up and energizing what I am saying. This technique can even work when I am listening. I can do it anywhere with anyone who I am having difficulties with.
Either of these tools works great with your partner, kids, or family members. You can introduce them as ways to speak from your heart. Share these ideas when you are not angry, but invite the other person to practice them with you when there is an upsetting situation.
So this Valentine’s Day (or any day), bring out a heart symbol to help you remember to come from your heart when you are speaking to another. Notice how it softens your words and helps you articulate what is going on for you.
Kim McLaughlin LMFT is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (mfc 27667). She works as a psychotherapist in Roseville specializing in counseling people with binge eating, compulsive eating and eating disorders. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor. This blog is not meant to be a substitute for counseling and if you are in need of counseling services contact Kim McLaughlin LMFT here.
Kim McLaughlin LMFT has been identified as writing one of the Top 50 Blogs about Emotional Eating by the Institute on Emotional Eating. Sign up for her free Special Report: Top Strategies to End Binge Eating here or visit her website at www.feedyoursoultherapy.com.