In spiritual practice, and even in everyday culture, we often come across the phrase ‘open your heart’. Whilst this sounds great on paper when we sit down to really contemplate what this might mean, many objections and concerns can come up.
The essence of most of these concerns is that if we were to open the heart, we would immediately make ourself more vulnerable to others. That if we do open the heart we would be in danger of being walked over by others, that others would take advantage of us. Or that we would somehow have to martyr or sacrifice ourself for the sake of others.
All of these concerns are absolutely understandable and natural. They also make a great deal of sense, after all when we look at the world there is an undeniable harshness evident.
So what does ‘opening the heart’ mean? Are we really expected to sacrifice ourself for the sake of others? Be unprotected? Vulnerable? Sit around the proverbial campfire naively believing and seeing only the positive?
I always prefer to ask to be shown, or to feel into something. That way it becomes a direct experience, and takes it away from simply being a mental debate, or something we ‘think’ we already know.
So my suggestion is to take the time to simply feel into the heart space. Taking some time to do so without any judgement, or expectation. When we are more comfortable, and more able to notice the subtleties, we begin to notice the warmth that is here. The warmth and the sense of support.
‘Opening the heart’ really means opening yourself up to the immense love and support that is within you. It really means letting this love and support come into you. To support all of your Being.
‘Opening the heart’ really means allowing the incredible portal that this is, to open. As this is a portal to the Divine.
The heart space is an electro-magnetic field. It contains many mysteries. It also provides information and guidance. Just as the mind does, but in a totally different way.
The guidance of the heart may at times be the polar opposite of the mind’s. The heart may suggest, for example, that sometimes you take a different route to work. A route that is more pleasant, lighter. The heart will also suggest other things of seemingly greater consequence that suit you far more, as well as show you what doesn’t suit you. Some of these suggestions will greatly surprise, even shock, the mind.
As we move more and more into the heart space, we start to become clearer about what truly does support us. We start to be more and more willing to allow the Divine to show us another path. That doesn’t mean that we then deny the mind either. We want the mind and the heart. We want both.
So to answer the natural concerns outlined at the start, the mind begins to realise that opening the heart doesn’t mean becoming more vulnerable to others or the world. Rather, it is almost the opposite. The outside world no longer takes on the same kind of importance. More than that, it doesn’t have such a hold over us. In opening the heart we begin the process of letting go of control. In doing so this allows the Divine to flood through, warm up, and lighten up the entire Being.