Always, but especially this year I’ve been torn between the options of living with an open giving and completely vulnerable heart and also preventing it from being hurt. In my opinion you couldn’t really do both at the same time.
As much as avoiding pain seems the easier and less hurtful option sometimes, I strongly believe that you can’t really choose what comes in or out of your heart so by avoiding this harmful energies we are also blocking love, joy and beauty coming in as well as diminishing our capacity to give.
A heart that doesn’t give or receive to its fullest potential, starts to weaken, just as any other muscle that we don’t exercise enough.
This is not how I want to live my life. I have spent a lot of time working on myself to be more open, loving and happy and I don’t want to go back to being less open and vulnerable in order to avoid being hurt sometimes. It seemed like a lose lose situation.
This year to me has been all about this question and finally I think I’ve come up with a satisfying answer.
A good friend said it to me very simply: “Protect your heart”
The way I see it now, protecting your heart is not about keeping it in an iron box or a crystal cage, or about creating filters to choose which energies it gives or receives.
In order to live fully and wholeheartedly, your heart must remain wide open giving all and receiving just as much with each heartbeat.
This means that we are going to get hurt and sometimes give what others might say is too much. I don’t agree there is too much, but that’s another question.
Some people will receive and honour what your heart has to give while others will simply dismiss it and even ridicule it.
Your wide open heart will receive love and beauty from others and the world around it but it will also receive the hardest blows, stabs and wounds. It will be torn and ripped and left to die. This is just life.
The only way to really protect your heart then is not by trying to choose what comes in and out of it or try to prevent it from being hurt. The only way to protect your heart is by making it stronger and more resilient.
How do we do this then?
To me this is and has always been the role of spiritual practices.
A real spiritual practice will, in time, bring you and all your energy back to centre, thus making your heart, your Self stronger and more resilient.
Your spiritual practice will help you deal with all the wounds, the hits and the pain in a healthy way.
In my case this is what the Ashtanga Yoga system does.
As, with the practice I become ever more sensitive, there are more and more things about myself, others and the world around me that cause me pain and suffering.
But just as the body becomes stronger and more flexible while it is dealing with physical pain and stress in the practice, so does the heart becomes stronger and more understanding about the different energies that it gives out and receives.
Protecting your heart doesn’t mean that you’ll stop worrying or hurting when it is under attack it just means that your heart will be strong enough to deal with all the pain and be ok with it, without suffering.
Love and Happiness,