In October, temperatures get cooler and leaves fall from the trees. Nature is shedding her lush summer display and is looking more vulnerable on the outside. Vital essence is moving internally now and will store in roots through winter, so the display can sprout externally again in the spring.
October is also the month of the Heart Protector meridian, also called the Pericardium. Key words for the Pericardium are vulnerability with safety, intimacy, authenticity, and staying in contact with our inner light and passion. We use our heart protector energy to show our naked vulnerability with our intimate other and turn on the hormones that give us the feeling of being in love. Like the trees, we must shed some layers to open in this way.
Opening to our heartfelt realities is a special space and deserves protection. Just like the weather outside, the heart protector wants to be a little cool on the outside yet warm and passionate on the inside. This coolness on the outside is accomplished with health boundaries and discernment. We want the heart protector to say no to people or energies that take us away from what feels right for our inner brightness, well-being and peace of mind. That is often hard to do given the cultural influences and peer pressure we experience every day.
We also want the discernment of the heart protector to say no to internal voices that cause hurt and shut us off from our feelings or paralyze us from expressing our authentic inner passion. An example is a harsh inner critic that can be cynical and self-deprecating. Like a faithful guard dog, the animal associated with the Pericardium meridian, we can be on alert for external and internal intruders that can harm our heart space.
We’ve all had experiences where our intimate feelings are met with what feels like misunderstanding, severe judgment and even violence. We may have felt betrayed or forced by circumstances to share our intimate space inappropriately. These experiences are traumatizing and cool our passions. We can close the door to relationship with others and even cut ourselves off from knowing our feelings, needs and passions.
In the symbolism of the heart protector there are many references to betrayal, which shock the heart and injure us deeply. This is when we can start to develop behaviors that we express externally to others or internally to ourselves like physical or emotional defensiveness, resistance, anger, irritability, jealousy, impatience and even depression, anxiety, mania and schizophrenia. These compensating responses to emotional trauma are helpful for a while, but eventually limit our journey towards our authentic self and real intimate relationships with others. They damage the strength of our ego and the true discernment of what is positive or negative for us.
Sometimes out of inner anxieties and feelings of inadequacy or need, we switch the balance of the heart protector and become hot on the outside and cool on the inside. Sex without real intimacy and addiction to substances or food are examples. We may knowingly or unconsciously violate the intimate space of others with words and actions, or betray trust and integrity in our intimate relationship.
Shadow and light, like night and day, exist within the wholeness of life. By looking internally and shining the light on both the shadow and light side of our personality we can begin the inner process of change. Healing needs to come through relationship with someone who can help us sort through our experience and inspire us to feel our wholeness. This may be a counselor, mentor, spiritual guide, family member or dear friend. It can also come through inspiring books and music. Look for my next post which talks about a music group that is reaching out to inspire young people in our culture.