The longest journey you will ever take is the 18 inches from your head to your heart. -Andrew Bennett
I remember hearing a version of this quote when I first began recovery work. I was so stuck in my head back then. Banging around in my brain all the time.
I was taught not to feel growing up. Emotions weren’t okay, there was no support for them. It was a very lonely place.
I took that learning well into my adult years, cutting myself off from my emotions. Robot-like with no way of processing feelings.
When I was finally told to feel in recovery it was like a dam breaking. Spontaneous boughts of tears. I had to process it all: the pain, sadness, anger and shame of my life thus far. No easy or small task.
It was a process. It still is. I had to go through weeks of anger and sadness, dredging everything up and exposing it to the light so the emotions could burn off.
I’m a better person now for all of it.
Even now as I continue my recovery journey and do talk therapy, spontaneous bursts of emotion come up. I had a rough week last week, teary and sad for most of it.
Instead of repressing my emotions, I now allow and honor them. Better out than in.
The path between the head and the heart may be a long one but it is the most valuable of them all.