I am quite surprised at how everything around me influences me. The blue cloudless sky this morning, the frost on the meadow. My sweet daughter’s sickness of the last few days, how many views a blog gets, all these things influence me.
I swear, back in the old days I used to huff and puff and blow myself up from the inside. And then I was independent, cocky and aloof. I imagined I was my own island, surrounded by my own ocean.
When my heart showed up the clear boundaries and borders melted away, as did ever being as sure as I always was.
For many years I sat on an egg called empathy: well, it has hatched. Now I stand naked in the sun, or the moon, meditating or watching silly TV. I can’t hide, as I always used to.
I must have ordered this, because it is here. But there is so much to feel, I protest, and am impressed all at once!
My heart is open 24/7.
Not so simple
Life used to be so simple. Now I’m so susceptible, here, quiet and soft.
I want you to like me so badly I can taste it. And sometimes, when I imagine you liking me it tastes so good, but other times it’s bitter, and all it takes is imagining that you don’t like me.
It seems that my life has become much more volatile. But really, I think I just notice much more. Which leads to much more life.
Nature of My Heart
Getting to know my heart, I’ve discovered, that hearts don’t wear watches, and they don’t look at clocks. They live outside of time, in the moment. And in this moment there’s so much to feel that it’s easy to feel squeezed. But then in the next moment that same squeeze feels more like being held closely by love.
Hearts don’t care about space either. They feel things that are close, and far away. They don’t make that sort of distinction. I feel a starving child in China, and a couple making love in Indonesia. I feel my elderly neighbor and the dog’s tail wagging furiously as I step outside. My heart reaches out and in. Hearts don’t care what you feel, they care that you feel.
We aren’t just hearts though. Back in the old days when I was just a mind, I cared a lot about time and space. I built a good/bad grid, and I controlled my entire life by where I pinned things on it. Orderly! A baby in China was off the grid. Filling a course with people or when I would next have sex was front and center.
I didn’t feel much, but I thought from dawn to dusk and often all through the night.
Out of mind was out of sight. My mind is still here, it’s just that now my heart and my mind romance each day, each hour and each moment.
Together they offer a very full representation of you, of the view from my window, of this exact moment. I cry a lot, but I laugh a lot too. I don’t think so much as I used to, but I feel more than I ever imagined possible.
Whether I like this new empathic me doesn’t really matter. I’ve tried to chase it away, I’ve shaken a stick at it and yelled at it, but it’s here to stay.
This is a gourmet life, each moment so full and an infusion of tastes. It’s a little scary, it’s a lot real, and I’m so glad to be here.
I remember long ago, learning that cell membranes are semi permeable. At the time I had no idea how important that information was.
But as my borders and boundaries become more permeable, I know this is the good stuff.
And we open one cell membrane at a time.
Who are you?
While you seem to be you and I seem to be me the more permeable I become the more I am you and the more you are me. This makes relationship possible, but it also allows emotions to freely flow between us; we gaze into each others I’s, and we know we are connected.
And while this is grand fun, being much more than myself, it also happens in the aisles of Walmart. There I am exchanging thoughts and emotions with a redneck.
All of a sudden I want an old pick up truck with a full gun rack and a confederate tattoo. But Bach is playing from the CD player in my truck, reminding me that I am still me.
Yes, the world used to seem so orderly when I was just me. But now I am much more than that. I am just me, and just you, and just each person individually. But it doesn’t stop with people, I am also dogs, gerbils, deer, the sun, the rock, the stream. And each one of these has its own singular experience, which I share.
I suspect that this has something to do with love, inclusion. But it’s not a kind of love I have experienced before; it isn’t exclusive: it is wildly inclusive. It doesn’t come and go. It remains, providing a canvass for me to paint life on.
Sometimes, I just want to be by myself, but myself is no longer just me.
I’m learning to live like this, one moment at a time. I’m watching myself expand and contract, breathing the universe, not just breathing me.
Sometimes it feels like I can’t go on another moment, that if I become any larger, I will surely explode. But I have not exploded yet.
And when I am contracting, returning to my little self I may get so small that I disappear. That hasn’t happened yet either.
This is trippy, to say the least. Had I ingested LSD or Mescaline this would make sense. But instead I seem to be ingesting life itself, gulping it down and loving it.
I think it’s okay. To be this me and so many other me’s. Because that’s simply how it is. It takes some adjusting, but each of us is always adjusting, because each of us is new each moment.
This is a hoot. And I will never get used to it. It is somehow inside evolution, so that I am the source of the change, not the effect of it. Yikes, this is a ride worth taking. Even when I hate it I love it, even when I love it I love it.
Yes, perhaps it used to be easier just to be me. But I’m not into easier anymore. I’ll take this any time, all the time, right now.
Two exercises for opening your heart:
Soft sweet laughter makes your fiery heart swoon. And you don’t have to laugh at anything in particular. Imagine a baby laughing, just for the fun and the feeling of it. That is the sort of energy your heart needs.
Heart by itself is fire energy, very hot yang. Cool down your heart and you will experience unconditional love. To cool it down imagine a pathway between your kidneys and your heart. Draw cool dark blue water from your kidneys up to the fire of your heart. The two will mix creating endless energy as the power of hard yang and kidney yin balance.
You heart is volatile, be gentle with it. Every time you focus attention on your feelings, without acting or reacting you contribute to your heart health.
Author: Jerry Stocking
Editor: Travis May