The Cartography of the Heart

Part 3.

The Self: Strength, swords, and soul.

“All my life I’ve tried to find the truth, and make it beautiful.”
—Sting

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One day, you wake up and it’s hard to move. You feel a dull ache. A constriction in your body. The armor you wear during the day begins slipping over your sleepy skin. It is an armor woven of physical tension meant to protect you. ‘Wilhelm Reich referred to this as ‘muscular armor’…a chronic tension in the musculature which blocks the natural flow of feeling/emotions through the body.’ I tend to agree. I view this as an armor meant to protect us from the hardships of our outer world and from the hardships of our inner world.

And beneath the armor, an ancient sword of humbling strength has settled into your heart, your mind, your body, your soul. The blade has become so blunt, so overused, so misshapen you no longer can remember where it came from or why you still have it. This sword is crafted of history, false belief systems, and trauma. This sword, lodged firmly, has kept you from emotionally ‘bleeding out’. It has been a beautifully strong coping mechanism. It leads to the unique medicine within. There comes a time when this mighty sword of self-hatred, needs to be pulled from you…
for it is not you.

You are not the fear. You are not this sword forged of corrosive self-hatred you project onto others…etching away at their character…what they say, what they do, how they think, who they are, their truth. In turn, you are not the self-hatred that is projected onto you.

This sword creates a hole filled with avoidance, shame, abandonment, fear, anger, depression. It is filled with false truth, although it holds the power of being true. You believe in it.
You stand by it strongly. You believe the voices that echo from deep within this hole…”I’m unlovable. I’m not enough. I am bad. I am alone. I doubt my right to exist.”
In believing these false truths, you unknowingly create the wound of abandonment. You abandon yourself each time you align with these voices.

And this then, becomes the work.
To begin the journey toward self-love that has been hidden beneath the self-hatred.


denise siteDenise Andes  is a Neo-Reichian Body-Centered Psychotherapist, Shamanic Teacher, CRT, and LPC. As an artist and writer, she has woven eidetic imagery and shamanic healing over the past 25+ years into her private practice in Santa Fe, NM. Denise is delighted to find her practice filled with artists. Her joy is helping people to land in their bodies and enjoy it! She works extensively with developmental, shock/trauma, and self-acceptance issues.

For more information on Denise please visit her website .

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