Having an open heart is something that I have always said that I wanted, heck, it is something that I have even said that I already had. The lessons of late in my life are giving me overwhelming evidence that this is not the case.
My heart has been closed for much of my life.
The clues that tell me this? I go cold when I don’t want to deal with something. I shut down, shut up and turn off my feelings when something is going on that I cannot handle, like conflict or anger.
I act and say that everything is fine with me, when really, in my head, I am saying to myself that everything is NOT fine, and that I am feeling alone, or hurting in some way.
I want to run away, fast and furious, when I feel like my heart cannot handle something. AND, I have actually done this several times in my life; left the house when a conflict arose, left a relationship when I wasn’t sure how to deal with it. And I mean, RUN. As fast and as directly as I can. This was hardly ever about what I was running toward, although I always made it about that. Run to a new relationship, a new home, a new work situation. It has always been about what I am running FROM.
I have been running away from my heart. From feeling. From truly being present in whatever was going on at the time. I never made that connection until very recently.
Every single time that I have shut down, gone cold, or run away from a situation, I have been closing up my heart, and closing it up tightly. Every time that I said that I was fine, and I was really hurting, I shut up my heart so that nothing could get in.
And, the thing is, when I shut my heart down from hurt, from anger, from conflict, I also shut it down from warmth, from LOVE itself.
So, in my most recent months, I have been opening up my heart more and more, speaking up and telling the truth more, confessing more and more when I have fucked up.
And I have never felt so vulnerable in my entire life. Like anyone can see inside of my heart, could reach in and snatch something out of it. It is scary, and at those moments I am immediately tempted to shut up shop tightly, and run away as fast as I can.
And yet, I don’t. I let it blow through, I feel it, I let it in.
And, I feel the growth. I sense the love. I finally know and understand what having an open heart truly is.
It is desire. It is risk. It is willingness.
It is the purest of love.