What does it really mean to open our hearts and live heart open? It would be nice to imagine that it means to feel happy and blissful all the time. But that’s not it.
The more we open our hearts, the more we feel. The more we feel, the more we have access to experience and express abundant joy, awe and wonder, pleasure, passion, love, intimacy and true connection with others. The more we feel, the more easily we can also experience sadness, longing, envy, anger, grief, loneliness and the pain of disconnection and closing.
We often label emotions as positive or negative, but to live heart open is to let life and energy move through us freely. Emotion = energy in motion. Suffering comes only when we judge, suppress or block that energy based on societal norms, conditioning or fear. It may be that we misuse that energy by not taking responsibility for it and projecting it out onto others, such as through blame, abuse, resentment or rage.
Imagine being angry, letting out a roar, “I am so Angry!” and feeling your body vibrate with the fire of passion within you. Imagine feeling lonely and letting yourself drop into the vast emptiness within you, that space from which all longing can emerge. Imagine being in nature and opening all of your senses in awe and wonder to the beauty before you. Imagine being so close and intimate with another that you can feel their energy merge with yours.
To live heart open means to need others, to let love in, to be vulnerable. It means to connect deeply to yourself and your inner truth. It means to express that truth and all of who you are to the world, when it is safe to do so, without the masks or role-play.
As I learn to open my heart it feels exhilarating to feel so much, to let in more love and to let more of me out. I dance, I sing, I laugh more. As I dare to share my truth, my longing and my fears, it is scary to feel so vulnerable and exposed. Each time I stretch just a little bit more open I can feel a part of me running for cover, to close and hide away. Each time I step into the light to be seen and heard, I feel a little part of me collapsing in fear. And the more I open, the more I need love, support, a warm embracing hug, and a shoulder to cry on.
I want to follow and share my truth, but the truth is that I am not always met. I risk being rejected, judged and misunderstood. I do not always have the love and support around me that I long for. I feel the pain of the disconnect even more. I feel my heart break and my heart close.
So what to do? Do I close again so as not to feel this pain, and at the same time close down the amount of joy and love I can experience? No, I want to keep going, to let my heart break open, to be an open heart warrior, to dare to follow my heart’s truth even if that leads to disappointment or judgement. This, for me, is to feel alive and free.
To live heart open means to be able to hold in compassion my own full range of emotions so that I can then be present to and hold in compassion the full range of emotions in others.
So are you ready to meet me there and celebrate each individual’s truth, hearts open?