Matters of the Heart

I’ve been thinking of and visiting with matters of the heart this last week. Particularly asking my self questions, exploring how I can keep my heart open when all I want to do is close off and retreat in to my self. How I can practice opening back up when I've allowed my self to go in to that place of retreat and protection. How I can practice staying open in the midst of pain or conflict. How I can love through it all, rather than shutting off the force of love until things feel ok again. Until it feels "safe" to love again. How do I receive love? And am I genuinely giving/feeling love, or am I just forming an attachment based on an idealization I’ve constructed of someone?

These questions that come about are two fold for me. Firstly, the world is not always a happy place. In fact recent times feels like everything is falling apart. That there is an ever present impending doom. I feel a deep grief as humans continue to destroy not only the natural world but also themselves and each other. I don’t always know how to remain open hearted to a world that feels rich with pain and suffering. I don’t always know how to love those who do harm. I don’t always know how to trust that staying open and allowing myself to continue to love will truly do a goddamn thing in a modern world that is so riddled with oppression, hate, destruction, greed, darkness, and evil. I don’t know if I can love when I feel so much grief. I don’t always know how to choose love.

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The second aspect to these questions surrounding matters of the heart are a result of exploring relationships. Ugh, relationships. That’s how I feel about relationships lately. All relationships. Sometimes they just feel so hard. Especially if you’ve experienced trauma from a relationship (newsflash: if you’re human you likely have), it takes an incredible amount of intention, awareness, energy, work, and healing to consciously and thoughtfully be in one. It takes courage to love another human when you have no guarantee of an expiration date. It takes courage to love another human being who is just as flawed as you and has their own imprint of trauma and triggers. It takes courage to open your heart to someone not knowing what they might do with it. Not knowing whether they want to be just as open. Not knowing whether they even give a shit about the heart spaces and the love spaces and the magic that happens in being open to both. It takes courage to love when you don’t know if you’ll get the same love in return. It takes courage to choose love.

And you know…there’s actually a third piece to this love pie. Because I hear people of all walks of life say that love heals all. That love is the universal cure for…everything. That we ARE love. That god is love and love is god and we are god and god is us and it’s all just love. And that through the heart we connect to god. And that the heart is the portal to pure consciousness. And it’s weird because I believe it and yet I don’t fully understand it and also I just know it’s true. Love is such a mystical thing.

So how can I embrace its mysticism and stay open to it all at the same time? I feel like I keep asking questions about love and the heart and am not actually offering any answers to said questions. Mostly because I’m still practicing staying open. I’m still practicing choosing love despite sometimes feeling pain and grief and loss because of it. I’m still practicing assuring my self that I am safe in that openness, and that I am safe in the event that the openness doesn’t ensure everlasting connection between me and other humans. I’m still practicing loving myself and staying open to my self. I’m still practicing returning again and again to my heart, to present moment consciousness, and to love.

So in the beginning of this message where I asked questions about how to practice staying open or practice opening back up or practice loving despite pain- I think the answer is already existent within the question.

It’s practice. Practice noticing when I want to be closed and practice staying open. Practice noticing when I already am closed and practice opening back up, whether that means saying it out loud or asking for what I need or just returning to my heart space and assuring my self and my inner child that I am safe. Practice, notice, awareness, heal, affirm, fail, try again, succeed, etc etc etc. It’s all practice.

I hope this spoke to your heart in some way. If it did, let me know in the comments how or why. That could be a great way for us all to practice being open. Along with being human, living from the heart, loving, asking the questions, returning to self. Even the remembering itself is a practice. Being willing, remembering, and practicing; it’s all enough.