Sometimes we imagine if we could just open our hearts more there would be more love in our lives.
We would hug more freely, have a larger circle of close friends and be more able to handle our own neurosis because there would be so much love we wouldn’t need to overdose on what we know is bad for us because “love would save the day.”
But open-heartedness is much more raw than any of that.
It is edgy and jagged. It is tears and pangs.
Open-heartedness is knowing there is suffering. Really knowing with every cell of our being that people hurt and animals hurt and the planet hurts and in this knowing we hurt.
The only way to get to open-heartedness, to any degree of of it, is to let the protective barriers, that so innocently have been placed between ourselves and experience, dissolve and that we can come into a place where we can feel it.
A place where we are awake to everything, not just to the experiences that make us feel good.
And this hurts.
But not in the painful way that our ego or identity are being bruised. Not in the way that we feel like we aren’t okay people and we aren’t sure we will be able to recover.
No, open-heartedness comes from a whole place. We are so filled with self-love and wholeness that we’re strong enough to take in all of our experiences without judgement or opinion. Without deciding anything is right or wrong or good or bad—just pure experience.
We notice, we feel, we experience.
And there is a lot to experience that is vulnerable and that hurts. And this is real mindfulness—ears pouring down as we drive down the highway destinationless, weeping for the pain in the world, not trying to change it, not judging that this pain should or should not be in the world. But just feeling it. Taking it all in.
This is when we know our hearts can open, blossom, share, be alive because they can feel it all and they won’t break. The feelings will only grow the love. Make it bigger, make it more accessible.
Want to be more open-hearted? Don’t fix anything. Don’t change an inch of anybody, anything and especially yourself.
Just feel it all.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Katarina Tavčar
Photo: Thea Bee Photography on DeviantArt