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  • Writer's pictureChris Tompkins

20 Takeaways That Will Open Your Heart

Updated: May 11, 2020

I think the best part of an experience is when it’s shared. There’s so much I recently experienced during my first session at the Allender Center, I could hardly wait to share with you some of what I learned.

If aren’t familiar with the Allender Center, you can learn more about who they are and what they offer here.

What struck me the most when I first came across the program at the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology a few years ago was two of their foundational beliefs:

  1. We can only take others as far as we’ve gone in our own life.

  2. The greatest gift we have to offer others is our presence.

If you’re like me and can feel these words land on your heart when you read them, you’ll love my top 20 takeaways from Session I of their narrative-focused trauma therapy certification program I'm attending this year.

I don't think we can honestly consider these without our hearts opening just a little more:

  1. Failure is the context to develop our great gifts.

  2. When we understand the gift we’ve been given, we have a gift to give.

  3. The cost of growing is our life.

  4. How we want to die determines how we live.

  5. No one can live without air, just as no one can live without faith, hope, and love.

  6. Hope is faith for the future.

  7. We borrow from the future to change the present.

  8. How we live in the present is what we tell from our past.

  9. No one reflects God like we do, so hiding ourselves is concealing God’s expression.

  10. The ability to bless our identity is the very nature of love.

  11. We don’t just experience individual trauma, we experience the trauma of our community.

  12. The places in our story we’ve experienced the most harm is where we’re the most beautiful.

  13. Embedded in places of harm are stories of redemption.

  14. We can’t love anyone unless we have a heart to forgive.

  15. Never compare your trauma to someone else’s, compare it to peace, joy, and love.

  16. We’re in a passionate relationship with anyone we hate.

  17. Forgiveness isn’t only canceling a debt that is owed, it’s also doing good.

  18. The process sometimes feels worse than the disease itself.

  19. We are called to give to others what we did not receive.

  20. One of the greatest gifts is curiosity — to know the heart of another.

When it comes to engaging matters of the heart, it isn’t very easy. Not because it’s hard, but because oftentimes we resist what's most important for us to do.

Many people have asked me how the program has been and my answer is, “I can’t imagine I’ll be the same on the other end.”

Something else that happens when we engage our hearts is we change. Not because we become different, but because we become more of who we truly are.

I look forward to sharing with you more from Session II in November. In the meantime, I’d love to hear which of these takeaways speaks to you the most.

Have a beautiful week!



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