What does it mean to have an open heart? When we talk about it medically, we usually associate it with open heart surgery; when you have something so seriously wrong with your heart that it requires the surgeon to open up your chest in order to fully access the heart so it can be repaired.
For us, in this case, it means to open ourselves, our hearts, to the joy within, to the love within, to the divine within. I often hear myself and others say that they lack joy, love, or light in their lives and that we tend to look outside ourselves to find it. We forget that all this and more exists in us already…that we are the ones who put up the barriers to them. It would be as if I locked myself out of my house, while standing at the front door forgetting that I have the keys in my hand. It really is that simple and yet we make it so difficult.
In “A Course in Miracles” it calls them veils…that to remove these ‘barriers’ is as easy as lifting a veil. Ironically, we forget that we put the barriers/veils there in the first place because of some hurt, fear, or other misunderstanding. Somewhere along the line we decided to be hurt whenever someone says or does some particular thing to us. Most times it’s not even about us and yet we take it very personally. For me it’s the implication that I’m either stupid or wrong; that if I’m considered wrong or stupid then I’m unlovable, unacceptable, unworthy.
So how does this relate to an “open heart?” Yes, we may have issues, vulnerabilities, flaws, imperfections, quirks, idiosyncrasies, character defects, and the like…and that’s okay. Living with an open heart is knowing these things about ourselves and loving/accepting ourselves regardless. Rather than hiding from our character defects or trying to cover them up with false personas, acknowledge them, accept them because it’s only when we do this that we can then have the option to change them if we so desire.
We keep thinking we have to wait for the others to change, to love us, to approve of us, to accept us first when in fact it has to start with us. When we open our hearts to ourselves, our whole selves, we can open our hearts to others.
If you have the chance I highly recommend watching this you tube video from Dr. Brené Brown about living wholeheartedly, she explains all of this so well.
Ponder what it would be like to live with an open heart as you color this month’s mandala of the month.
And be sure to download/color this month’s section of the 2011 Mandala of the Year.
joyfully, Maureen, The Mandala Lady