by Carole J. Morton
Compassion is the true healing force, born of love.
It comes from both the mind and the heart in unity.
It is the heart's empathy combined with the mind's understanding. Compassion for yourself is the only true path out of pain and judgment. Compassion is the antidote to judgment.
Compassion for yourself is the only path to healing.
Teaching compassion, by offering it, is a gift to the healing in others.
Entering Your Own Heart: A Guide to Developing
Self-Love, Inner-Peace and Happiness
by Carole J. (Meisner) Morton
Midwest Book Review:
"Drawing upon her more than 30 years of experience and expertise as a licensed integrative psychotherapist, a mind-body-spirit medicine professional, public speaker, author Carole J. Morton's "Entering Your Own Heart: A Guide to Developing Self Love, Inner Peace and Happiness" is impressively well written, organized, practical, thoughtful, thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone and substance, "Entering Your Own Heart" is highly recommended as an addition to community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections.
Available at www.EnteringYourOwnHeart.com and everywhere else (through my web-site 10 % of the proceeds goes to feeding, clothing and educating destitute and disabled children through www.empower-children.com
"Just as rivers flow from east and west to merge with the one sea, forgetting that they were ever separate rivers, so all beings lose their separateness when they eventually merge into pure Being".
"Namaste: I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you which is of love, light, peace and joy. When you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, We Are One".
Definition of Namaste
Entering Your Own Heart: A Guide to Developing Self-Love, Inner Peace and Happiness is a journey, a journey to the center of your own heart where you can see, understand and appreciate the fact that you always have loved—and still do love—yourself … way more than you imagine. Once you truly know this, you will not only treat yourself with the love and appreciation you deserve but you will accept no less from anyone else and offer no less to others.
The love for self I am addressing is a love that maintains peace rather than hurt, anger, anxiety or depression in the midst of disappointment, betrayal or failure. The depth of love we allow ourselves to experience, toward our self and others, ranges from conditional to unconditional. When we reach the deepest state of love for our self, we experience unconditional love that never dies even if a loved one dies or leaves us or we leave. When we love our self unconditionally, it means the end of inner conflict, self-hatred, depression and anxiety—and it allows us to experience our true inner peace.
Entering your own heart means taking a journey through your outer self into the very center of your being where the actual loving truth of you resides. It’s often said that it is very important to love our selves. How many of us truly understand what that means? Over the years, I’ve asked many people I’ve met socially if they love themselves. Their answers were usually yes. When I asked them how they knew they love themselves, most answered that they bought themselves massages, a nice car or attractive clothes. These very same people would often feel angry, upset, insulted and indignant; they would become boastful and judgmental of others and were not truly peaceful inside. Unfortunately, we have not been taught how to treat ourselves with unconditional love. In fact, much of our training has actually taught us the opposite—but we can still learn. My hope is that Entering Your Own Heart will increase your awareness of self-love and guide you to create a richer, happier life experience for both yourself and for those you touch.
The journey is three-fold, with each aspect being inextricably linked. The first aspect of this journey is to become aware of and be able to hear a part of you that is sometimes referred to as “the still small voice” that resides within your heart. The second aspect of this journey is to actively listen to that voice, to “check-in” with it, and to fully understand its importance in your life. The third aspect of this journey is to arrive at a state of total identification or oneness with this voice, to realize that it is your true self, and to completely drop all identification with your personality or ego self.
My personal belief, and the belief of many others, is that the all and the everything provides us with more than one lifetime to complete this journey, but this belief is not required to walk the path to self-love. Based on where you are on your path, Entering Your Own Heart will guide you through the first two aspects and lead you to the door of the third aspect. When you attain self-love, you will live pain-free: confident, happy, peaceful, accepting, patient and loving.
I’d like to share with you how my life and this book evolved.
When I was very young, I spent most of my days alone in my room, rocking and crying on my bed. One day, I just got up, climbed out the window, slid my small body to the very edge of the ledge five stories above the ground and tried to find the courage to jump off. It wasn’t the thoughts in my head as much as the feelings in my body that drew me out that window. The rocking would ease those feelings some, but, on this day, for whatever reason, the rocking wasn’t enough. As I sat on the ledge, with one hand raised above my head, clinging to the bottom of the open window for security, the other hand pushed down on the red brick in an attempt to eject myself over the edge. I was ten.
At that age, I didn’t know how to ease my pain, and I sought relief the only way I could imagine. Luckily, I was too fearful to end my life, and, even though life was very difficult, I managed to stay alive until I could find a better way to ease my pain. My search took decades, but I learned that sometimes it takes profound pain to bring us to profound peace, and I did find the inner wisdom that enables me to have a peaceful, fulfilled life today. If you aspire to peace, it is within your reach as well because peace is within you.
No matter how alike or different we might seem, we all have the same core needs and can all achieve a fulfillment of those needs. My life perspective developed into what I call psycho-spirituality. This is an understanding of the human experience being connected and whole with no separation between mind/body/spirit/other. I’ve attempted to put into words the complexity of what I know and to organize my message in such a way that the miracle of who we each are becomes clear and evident. My desire is that my words will spark in you a great love and appreciation for your self.
My childhood was riddled with scary experiences, and I wound up feeling great doubt, even hatred, of both myself and the world. The world looked upside down to me. I remember thinking that everything that was important wasn’t, and that everything that wasn’t important was. I felt very alone.
Even though I climbed back in the window and didn’t end my life that day, the years ahead were troubled with anorexia, prostitution, battered-wife syndrome, near-death from a self-induced abortion at a time when abortions were illegal, and more misery than anyone deserves.
A few days after I climbed back from the ledge, I had an experience so strange that I’ll never forget it. I was sitting on my bed rocking, crying and thinking that I was not loved. As a steady current of tears ran down my cheeks, for some unknown reason, I turned my face toward my mirror. Seeing my reflection, I remember thinking, “How ugly!” I got up and slowly moved toward the mirror, my face appearing larger and larger as I got closer. “And uglier!” I thought. I remember again thinking that nobody loved me. Then immediately, out of nowhere, came a very distinct voice. It spoke fiercely to me, “If nobody is going to love you, then I’m going to love you!” The voice was loud, clear and sounded almost angry. I turned around, trying to make sense of it, looking to see who could have said these words, but no one was there.
My family was not religious, so I never considered that it could have been a higher voice. Confused, I pushed the whole experience to the side and forgot about it until the voice reappeared strongly for me years later when I was 21 and in an abusive marriage to a troubled man who was threatening to kill me, our child and then himself. Though I then remembered my experience at age ten, I still did not understand the implications of it and, again, dropped it from my memory.
By the time I was 34 I was attending psychotherapy regularly. I defined myself as an atheist because I simply would not believe in a god who allowed such misery—my own and all that I saw in the world. Then, through a very slow process, I became aware that there was something that kept me going, something that seemed to value my life.
My personal journey led me to psychotherapy and eventually to exploring spirituality. As I continued to grow, I discovered that I loved providing support to others. I eventually went back to school to earn a degree in clinical psychology and a state license. I also trained as a non-denominational, metaphysical minister. I’ve been in private practice for over 30 wonderful years.
The information I share in Entering Your Own Heart is not intended to lead you down any religious road. If I had to say where this book will lead you, it is to the very center of your heart—where you are connected to everyone and everything, to where peace and joy reside.
No doubt, age ten was a profound year for me. Despite my urge to find peace through the only way I could think of at that young age, paradoxically, I also had a vision of me as a grown up. I remember it very clearly. I would see myself speaking to groups of people and each person would come away from listening to me loving themselves more. Because I was a child who was severely belittled, it’s not difficult to understand that I was not learning self-love or self-respect in my home. I needed to love, or at least like myself, but due to having a mother with extremely low self-esteem and a horribly abusive father, I only heard words that made me distrust, dislike and even hate myself. I felt like I didn’t deserve better.
Yet even at the young age of ten, I understood a bigger picture. I knew that if my mother loved herself more, if the President of the United States loved himself more, if the “bad guys” in the movies loved themselves more, the world would right itself and the crazy abuses would stop. It seems my life has been about finding that internal loving and supportive voice for myself and to help others find it for themselves. This is one of the gifts I offer to you through this book.
Entering our own heart is the way we consciously connect with peace and joy, which then spreads from within to without, creating a better world for ourselves, our children, our families, our friends, our co-workers and strangers. Joy and peace are truly already within us, and we are all entitled to it. We are also entitled to feel the confidence needed to move toward our dreams. Each one of us has the right to know this and to love ourselves unconditionally. I know, first-hand, the strength of the human spirit to heal and overcome adversity, even terror. It is in touching our pain that we gain the gifts within us.
One important aspect to entering your own heart and connecting with the peace and joy inside is to learn how to touch and overcome emotional pain. Emotional pain is caused by mistaken beliefs both conscious and unconscious. These beliefs are not the truth no matter what evidence you believe you have for them.
Think of your emotional pain as residing in a room that holds all of the mistaken beliefs that you need to correct. See that you must walk through that room, touching and accepting all that is in it, to get through to where peace and joy reside. This journey, to the core of your being, will lead you to your pain and your power, your fear and your joyful heart.
In Entering Your Own Heart, we will look at the mechanisms for connecting and disconnecting from the higher self who resides at the center of your heart. I will explain, in detail, how the key to entering your own heart is found in the unconscious and conscious ways we relate to our self and allow others to relate to us. You will see how all behavior begins within your mind, a mind that is actually a relationship—a relationship that creates the energy that you experience as you.
The Psycho-Spiritual Journey
Our spiritual self, as others and I understand it, is the experience of oneness and connectedness. It is the experience of being connected with our self, with others, with the animals, with the earth and with “the all and the everything.” As we connect deeper within ourselves, our higher self, spirit self, higher power, still small voice, god, universal energy (by whichever name you want to call it) becomes a conscious part of us and strengthens us, bringing us closer to the experience of unconditional love, peace and joy. For the purpose of simplicity, I will refer to “the all and the everything” as “the higher self.”
As this book progresses and you begin to do the necessary work to connect to aspects of your self that you have not, as yet, met and embraced, you will find that, through this process, your sense of being connected to everyone and everything will expand as well.
Our whole physical being is made up of our bodies, our brains and our minds. This mind, which I call the personality self, is the part of us that reasons, understands, wills and experiences emotions whether on a conscious or unconscious level. Our physical body affects our brain, our brain affects our mind, and, in reverse, our mind affects our brain and our brain affects our physical body. Your body/brain/mind is a single unit working together to maintain your being. Your socio-political and physical environment plays a large part in influencing your body/brain/mind. We are molded by every aspect of our existence.
There is a strong correlation between physiological and psychological flow, health and well- being. Flow and health are synonymous. When I work with clients, I acknowledge and treat their whole being, working toward opening up the flow of thoughts, beliefs and emotions as well as their body’s physical flow so that they can break through their blockages, stuck places or contractions. As we open up, we are more capable of hearing our higher self directing us to greater self-loving decisions and behaviors.
It was over 30 years ago that I traveled to southern California to study with Dr. O. Carl Simonton, a pioneering medical doctor who is now known as “the father of psycho-social medicine.” Dr. Simonton stated, “You can learn to follow the inner self, the inner physician that tells you where to go. Healing is simply attempting to do more of those things that bring joy and fewer of those things that bring pain.”
Most industrialized countries, like the United States, are so fast-paced that people are dissuaded from being mindful of their emotions and physical sensations. It can be difficult to find time for tending to both our outer and our inner life. In order to “keep up” within these societies, many people dampen their feelings and mask their pain with various numbing substances so that they can keep up with the pace. The result, for all of us, is that we are less in touch with our selves, especially our truest selves, and with the joy of our aliveness. We miss out on knowing someone very wonderful ... our self!
Your life need not be a struggle. Ease, peace, love, health and joy are yours to experience—even if you have little money or physical comforts. We might say that the school of life and all of its lessons are offered to you as you travel this path. It is your path and, therefore, your choice whether to do the work. The opportunity will always be there for you when you want it and are ready for it.
The universe is unconditionally patient. In the beginning of A Course In Miracles, a spiritual teaching sometimes referred to as the Vedanta in Christian language, it states: “This is A Course In Miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time.”
The path to self-love, inner-peace and happiness also leads you to the realization of your connection and sense of oneness with everything. This is the process known as awakening. Awakening is always available to you, along with self-love, inner-peace and happiness, as long as you choose to walk forward and not give up when you encounter difficulties.
The journey to the center of your heart is for the brave of heart because there are often many pains to face, hurts to heal and mistakes to correct. Allow me to be your guide as you travel this path. Entering Your Own Heart is a guidebook, explaining in detail how to dissolve the fears, beliefs and concerns that bring you pain and how to listen to and hear your feelings as they guide you to peace and joy.
Allow the thoughts presented in this book to strengthen you for the journey and offer you a way through the rough spots so that you can embrace pain whenever it appears and not let it block your way. Allow this book to show you how to become strong in the face of self-judgment and how to enjoy and appreciate your self and each individual who appears on your path as your mirror. Most of all, allow Entering Your Own Heart to bring you to experience an unconditional love and peace that extends itself effortlessly.
Throughout Entering Your Own Heart, I will use the term pain to mean any emotion that is the result of believing that you are less than innocent, less than loving, less than magnificent.
In the upcoming chapters, you will learn the tools to become a spiritual warrior. I promise that, as you travel this path, you will become stronger and the process will become easier. The length of the journey is much less important than the amount of loving experiences you gather along the way.
Throughout Entering Your Own Heart, I refer to a variety of spiritual teachings and quote wise people from all walks of life. We have the ability to learn from our inner wisdom and be inspired by the wisdom of all other teachings. Allow your self to be inspired by others and allow your self to open up to learning from your own inner wisdom.
I have chosen to use all lower case letters when referring to both the personality self and the higher self. This is to point out that your personality self is not less than the higher self, but actually one with it. Where appropriate, I also use the two words, “your self” rather than the grammatically preferred “yourself” to refer to the true, inner, whole and holy being that is you.
Because the concepts I offer build on each other, I strongly suggest that you read the chapters in order.
Your work and your rewards lie ahead. Let’s begin.
 Circle of Atonement, “The Course’s Nondualism: Love Is a Law Without an Opposite.” (accessed August 8, 2012). http://www.circleofa.org/articles/CoursesNondualism.php
 Helen Schucman, scribe, A Course in Miracles, (Foundation for Inner Peace, 1975).
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I am a licensed psychotherapist (MFT#42677) and a Doctoral and PhD candidate in Integrative & Natural Medicine. I also hold both a Masters in Speech (Human) Communication and a Masters in Clinical Psychology. In 2008 I joined the faculty at the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley, a masters level, multi-culturally focused, clinical psychology program. I am also a certified Coach with Metabolic Balance, Inc. Metabolic Balance is an individualized program for naturally balancing one's metabolic system, aiding in the repair and reduction of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome, diabetes, Hashimoto's and other thyroid imbalances, under or over weight issues, Lupus, inflammatory conditions, depression and anxiety. Based on 36 different blood values, it is a strictly food-based program.
Carole J. Morton, MFT
The office is conveniently located in downtown
Walnut Creek near South Main & Creekside
925 937 5683