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Our Racing Hearts

I laid on my back against the softness of my bed. My hands resting by my side. The album, A Boy and His Kite playing softly in the background. A small smile on my lips. My heart big and bright and light all at once.

It was yearning

It was desiring

It was longing;

for someone.

It was a beautifully wild thing, the feeling I felt inside of me. Beautiful but untamable. I could not think of any other. My heart wanted to draw close to the one it desired; an innate mechanism triggered in me to desire a sharing of my heart with the one it wants to intimately know.

For a short while, everything upended. My schedule. My appetite. My sleep.

It was like everything in me, including my physiological mechanisms, began to shift and adapt to make room for its desire; to focus more energy on this person my heart cares for so deeply.

I didn’t have control over what my heart chose to feel. And I suddenly became acutely aware of the power of my own heart and its capacity to feel and love. I could feel my heart wanting to give this person all the love and support I could ever give someone. I could feel it yearning to care for all the parts of them that may be their weakness or shame, to want to be there for them.

So in those very moments, this person had my whole heart.

I closed my eyes and continued to lie on my bed. It’s such a good feeling, I wondered. To want to draw close to another human being, to want to really know them, to want to share your heart and take care of their heart.

I rolled onto my stomach, opened my eyes and tried to breathe slowly. I listened quietly for the heightened flow of emotions within me. My heart was racing. And then I heard it. Clear and strong.

The chemical rush of attraction.

There is this feeling most of us would have felt as we grew up. A feeling that fills our hearts beyond our control. A feeling that tell us who our heart desires to know. A feeling that makes us feel fluttery, shy and high all at once. And no matter how much we want the feeling to stop or slow down to give us a chance to breathe;

It keeps racing.

We would have all had this feeling at least once in our lives but we experience and express it differently in our lives. When we are attracted to someone, we may tend to be more interested in the person; their interests and who they are. We would then naturally think about them more or want to spend more time with them. We could experience physiological symptoms such as blushing or racing hearts or nerves. Our behaviours might change too. We could become more shy or perhaps more talkative.

Having feelings of attraction are normal and beautiful. It doesn’t have to be a sign of weakness, or shame or of lost control or an impending doom. Our feelings of attraction or the crushes we have remind us that we are human. They are innate mechanisms within us that gets triggered to enable our hearts to desire another person. It enables us to open our hearts to another and makes a pathway for us to truly love another.

It is the starting point that enables and makes a way for humans to connect with one another on a deeper level. That’s how humans draw close, fall in love, expand, live and thrive within this world.

As relationship therapist, Rhonda Milrad, puts it,

“[Attraction] It’s a glue when getting to know someone. It is a feeling that enables you to bond with another person and to give you time to get to know each other and determine if your personalities and well-suited for one another.”

Without crushes or feelings of attraction, there would be a deeper level of connection and love that humans would never be able to tap into. We’ll live our lives on earth distant, without an attractive force helping us draw closer with each other.

So at the heart of it, feelings of attraction are for good.

It’s because it’s such a powerful and strong force that’s why it’s really important we have the skills to be able to regulate those feelings so that it may grow our self awareness and humanity instead of overwhelming us.

The force of attraction is so good and pure in itself that we need to know how to care for it and tend to it so that it can be of the perfect flame to grow and expand us. We must learn how to harness this beautiful potent energy for our growth and self-development instead of letting it burn ourselves down; for it can steady us more than unsteady us, bring us rest instead of unrest and return us to our true selves instead of making us lose ourselves.

Here’s how we can!

Feel your feelings.

Our feelings of attraction need our care and attention.

It’s like a little child of our own trying to send us messages and signals. A little child with needs that is craving to be met. And even if we can’t meet all it’s needs (e.g. spending time with the person, getting to know the person), we can acknowledge it. So don’t push your feelings down and try to bury it. Don’t force it to go away because it’s too difficult or painful to feel it.

Try validating your feelings: I am feeling attracted to… I have a crush on…I think I like…. And it’s okay. Feelings that get buried down will always resurface again; with a vengeance. So, allocate a few minutes each day when you’re by yourself to check in with yourself: What am I feeling towards this person? What do I like about them?

Hold space for the feeling in your heart. Allocate time to explore it and let it speak to you. It’s only when we don’t hold space for the feeling in our heart, that it has no where to go and it feels like you’re losing control.

Find healthy ways to express your feelings. For example, you can journal your feelings down, you could write a poem or a song about it, dance, scream in your room, listen to music that your feelings can relate too, paint etc.

Don’t try to control the feeling. Hold space for it.

Be gentle with yourself.

Sometimes, we feel a lot of shame, insecurity, self-consciousness, anxiety or even fear associated to what we feel.

First of all, I want you to know that everything will be okay and these feelings are normal. Our hearts our vulnerable and open when they are in the state of being attracted to another. It makes sense that our bodies will try to “protect” us and our defense/protective mechanisms would be on alert.

That’s how we might be more susceptible to feelings of fear, anxiety or self-consciousness etc. (because at the heart of it, these feelings exist to warn us and protect us).

It’s important that we acknowledge those feelings with compassion and understanding, and self-soothe ourselves by validating it and telling ourselves the truth.

For example,

I feel ashamed because of my feelings. I understand (take time to make yourself feel understood and heard). But my feelings of attraction are involuntary and a part of being human. It doesn’t make me anything but human."

I feel self-conscious around that person. I understand. I have the capacity to be myself and be confident. I am amazing and am worth a lot.

Stay grounded.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the rush of emotions, to feel like it is overcoming you and you’re drowning sometimes. It is important when we feel overwhelmed, to take some space for our own selves. Particularly if you’re always around the person you like and you’re feeling very overwhelmed, try finding ways to have some space (e.g. excuse yourself for a moment, schedule less time with them) until your feelings have been regulated.

One good grounding technique for anyone overcome by strong emotions is the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique where:

Name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste.

Try focusing on something calming, taking deep breaths in and long breaths out as well.

These techniques can help you focus on the present moment instead of the rush of emotions. Try taking deep breaths.

Root out fixation.

As we feel feelings of attraction, our hearts become wide-eyed and open towards the other person. It’s normal for our hearts to see only positive qualities about the other person because that’s all our hearts are capable of seeing.

Fixation happens when we don’t see the person as a whole; a human being with strengths and weaknesses or when we’re only in love with an idea of who we think they are instead of who they really are.

Don't worry.

Try journaling down all the positive qualities as well as areas you feel the person could grow in or be strengthened in (their weaknesses) that you observe. This will keep your mind and emotions more objective towards that person.

Talk to a friend or parent that you trust about your feelings and let them give you wise input about your emotions. If possible, try being friends with the person you like or getting to know more about them in some way.

This way, you’ll get a better idea of who they are as a person.

Be present in your life.

As much as your heart wants to focus on the person and the person only because it desires them, don’t forget to live your life to the fullest.

Don’t forget to continue to do all the activities you enjoy doing, all the things that make you you.

Mindfully schedule time with friends and family, take care of yourself emotionally, go out into nature, exercise, dream big dreams and continue working hard to achieve them.

Don’t let your feelings of attraction create a halt in your life. Keep going!

So here’s my story.

I hold my feelings of attraction gently within the cusp of my hands now. Grateful for how much it taught me and the very human experience it has given me. Grateful that it has opened my heart to so much more compassion, humility and love.

Sometimes it turns into a raging sea that I would need to caress and calm. Other days it rests gently within my hands, like a soft beating heart.

Maybe your story is different from mine; your feelings of attraction looking and feeling different. Perhaps you are nervous and panic or blush and act shy; crave someone's attention or are in need of some space; confident you have a crush or unsure if you do.

One thing I do know:

No matter how your feelings or your experiences are like, it can grow you and make you more whole than you ever were before... if you let it.

So, let it.

You’re not alone.

You never are.

**Title of article inspired by the song It’s Racing by the artist, A Boy and His Kite



(Connect with me on IG :) )

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