A wise person commented to me recently:
“If your heart’s not open, you can’t give or receive.”
I was struck by the resonance in me with this sentiment, and set off to find out a little more about the heart, and its symbolic meaning.
I found reflections about the energy centre of the heart that suggested that an open heart is associated with feeling deeply connected, and with an appreciation of beauty. When energy is not flowing freely to and from the heart, this was indicated to mean there may be difficulties in relating with others, for example jealousy, codependency, or to being unavailable or withdrawn.
This had me reflecting on the importance of acceptance at the level of our heart and body. Sometimes perceived as being about liking something, or giving in to something that you don’t like, acceptance is actually about openness.
Acceptance is about being able to fully look at, hear, be with and experience what it is that is present, without turning away, resisting, minimising or avoiding. It is not a cognitive, thinking process, it is an orientation of the bodymind, a felt experience.
Acceptance calls us to look deeply at things we really may not like, about ourselves, about those around us, and about situations in which we are a part. Having an open, accepting heart is not all about fuzziness and warmth, although it can often lead to wonderfully warm feelings. It is about a deeper connection with ourselves and with all that is, a compassionate seeing from which we can learn and grow.
What we resist will persist, for closed hearts do not resonate, and patterns simply repeat. And yet, opening the heart can be tremendously difficult, and we may first need much support and many resources. For if a heart is closed it is with good reason, this is a way of being that has been learned through experiences.
There are many ways of working with energy, physically and psychologically. The first step is to come to an understanding of what you are experiencing right now, and what it is that you would like to have happen. This accepting, and opening, is a great first step in finding your way forwards.