Being Blog

Approaching life with an open heart

Chapter Be_open heart

During this time of year, you inevitably are inundated with messages about love, and you can’t go many places without seeing love’s symbol – the heart – strung all over the place. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that I have never fully understood or really bought into. It feels a bit too forced to me and the commercialization of it all seems to trivialize something that I think is so very important and needed within our world – every day of the year. Yet, awareness of anything is good – so if it takes a designated day for people to stop and think about what love means to them – then that is a positive thing. The trick is taking that awareness and carrying it into our daily lives.

I decided that this year I would take the month of February to tell people in my life not just that I love them, but what I love about them. What I appreciate about their hearts and how they choose to live their life. The practice has brought something up that I wasn’t quite expecting – which is, what would I write to myself? I have no problem singing someone’s praises who I love and adore, but when it comes to being able to do that for myself – forget it.

This week I watched the movie, The Power of the Heart, because I was intrigued and because it includes many thinkers and authors that I deeply respect. That and because I am actively working to open up my heart and live life from a place of wholeheartedness. As I’ve written about already, it is something that I struggle with, yet know it is something that I have to be in order to live the authentic life that I want.

One of the first things you hear when the movie starts is Paulo Coelho say, “You will never reach your full potential if you don’t open your heart” and that when you are disconnected from your heart then you are not really living. Anyone who has gone through pain, knows that feeling of shutting your heart off – in the same way that you know the feeling when your heart is wide open. As they said in the movie – you can tell your heart is open when you are feeling true enthusiasm for something. For me I know that my heart has the potential to be whole – it is not closed, just blocked – but I am learning that it also takes me choosing to let it be open.

The truth is – you cannot expect anyone or anything to love you until you know and love yourself. Mark Nepo points out that we even see this to be true in nature. “The bee doesn’t come until the flower blossoms.” I also loved Maya Angelou‘s advice that if you don’t know what to do – do nothing. Sit in the stillness and ask your heart questions – because the heart is the only thing we can trust. Our hearts are connected to our intuition, so it will give us the true answers. And you cannot fake it – you have to live it and feel it. Every day of the year. And, I suppose there is no better day to start then Valentine’s Day.

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