Before we can truly love another, we have to love ourself. The most common block in the heart chakra is the absence of self-love. How can we reach out to others if we are drowning in shame and criticism? We have to have an intimacy with ourself, a way to bring our own deep interior to consciousness.
I began the continuing process of self-discovery thirty-three years ago when I wrote in a journal for the first time. The words I wrote were, "I am not happy." I knew, seeing them on the page, the truth was out, and that I had to change that statement. I had to save my own life, and that I was the only one who could. The responsibility of that change terrified me -- I had a husband and two young sons -- what could I do?
I don't even know how many journals I've filled in the years since then -- first writing in long hand, and then eventually on the computer -- shelves of books -- that are a record of my investigation of myself -- my individuation process. If there were a tornado coming ( and I had the time), it would be my journals I would save. They represent to me, my struggle to know my self (my Self), my tragedies and triumphs. In C.S. Lewis's book, Til We Have Faces, he talks about "probing the self with a pen." Sounds painful, and it sometimes is -- the journey included many years with a couple of gifted Jungian analysts willing to bear witness to my descent. It's a deeper knowledge of self that I continue to discover, and that is the imperfect gift I am able to offer.
In my deep interior, I am happy.