We all suffer from a heart that is closed, either a little or a lot, and we spend our life trying to avoid being aware of this, but it is always there in the back of our mind. This article will take the article; “How To Find What You Really Are” a little further.
Our activities and desires are in one way or another related to this, trying to open our heart in some way, as that is the core of our experience of life.
Intuition, feeling, connection, fulfillment, satisfaction, interests, friendships, work, depression, sadness and of course love, virtually every activity and emotion is experienced based on the level to which our heart is open or closed. We know it is closed and we seek to open it. That is all we do in our life, through every thing we do.
All spiritual teachings as well as physical ones; sports, martial arts, yoga, all point to the breath as the key to mastery. Our ability to breath deeply is intimately connected to how open our heart is, which is our ability to feel emotion.
If your heart is closed, your breathing is restricted and tight. If your heart is open, you will be able to breath freely, once you have relaxed the physical tension that your body has become accustomed to. Conversely, if you can breath freely, you will feel more.
The drive for sex, and the desire to experience more partners, is also based on the desire to open our heart. This is where we can truly feel. In sex, or even a hug, we can let our heart open and free ourself from the intellectual and emotionally repressed personality.
The problem is that we have sex with a closed heart and so are not satisfied and then seek another partner, only to be further disappointed which closes the heart more. I only make this brief mention of sex to plant the seed that sex is a venue, not the goal itself.
The method to open our heart is through breathing. But before we can use breathing practice to do that, we must know why we have closed our heart.
The first and obvious reason is from the scars of disappointments, heartbreaks and other difficulties in life. The second and perhaps more important reason is the fear of hurting another person. One tradition says that one of the greatest sins is to break a persons heart. Perhaps we all know this on some level even if it is not conscious.
Let us deal with the first reason first. Think about all the events in your life in which you have been hurt. That will be easy enough, but go further, think of the disappointments about how someone close to you did something you cannot resolve. Your parent stealing money from you, perhaps you desperately needed help in some way and a family member or closest friend refused to help you. Maybe you were in love and a disaster came in your life, and that person only thought of themselves.
Go back and allow all these memories to come to your mind, feeling the pain that you felt at that time. The problem is our ego does not want to feel pain so it buries the feelings, almost instantly in some cases, and you never feel the pain you are experiencing. Now, at this point in your life, that pain is still there but you are not acknowledging it. All you have to do is acknowledge it without resentment.
The way to overcome any pain from the past of being hurt is to understand that they acted out of the natural human animal instinct of survival. It was not conscious or thought out, it was just animal instincts.
They did not mean to hurt you, they are living in pain and fear and just trying to survive so their own mind justifies their actions in that way. They do not see it as wrong.
You must accept the reality that you do the same thing and that you do things that hurt people and feel totally justified that nothing is wrong with your actions because you feel a need for it.
When we accept that every human is the same, including you, then you will not take an attack personally. When that happens, you will no longer be hurt by any bad event.
The second reason, the fear of hurting another person, is one that is an even stronger power to keep our heart closed. You know, if you open your heart fully, since everyone is seeking to find love and feel that deep safety and connection, and you are not really that serious about the other person, they will get hurt.
It is like meeting someone who is looking for a nice place to live, then showing them a house that is far beyond their means, a perfect home and location, letting them walk through the house, sleep there a couple of nights, then saying they have to leave and never come back. That is simply mean. We do not want to do this and so we close our heart in order to prevent hurting anyone, but it is we who suffer at the same time.
Giving the wrong impression is clear when a woman hugs a man with a pure open heart, but is also a reason western men have such a cold hug. Imagine what anyone would think of a man who hugs another man in the way he hugs a woman he is passionate about.
We all want to feel love so much that as soon as we meet anyone with an open heart, we will fall right in, and in some cases, we may not want to fall into that home or invite the wrong person into ours.
Fear rules our life and keeps our heart closed.
All we want is to be free. I could say all we want is to love, but that is not the whole truth. Love is one emotion but compassion, empathy, support, companionship and many others form part of the totality of the human experience of feeling. None of these are possible with a closed heart.
How many times have you made mistakes in your everyday decisions and knew that you knew better. Why did you make that mistake? Because your intuition failed you and intuition is an emotion. Emotions are a function of the heart. The heart is restricted in proportion and connection to the breathing. If the heart is closed, the intuition will not function. This is the key to unity and connection to people, as well as on a spiritual level.
If you want to live, try this new attitude towards life.
- You have been hurt, people have disappointed you, and that may happen again. But you have survived. Closed by your own choice, maybe subconsciously, but you are still alive and thus there is hope to recover.
- Being hurt is due to expecting someone to be the way you expected them to be. You therefore have caused your own pain. And everyone is equally responsible for their pain.
- Never deliberately harm anyone.
- Open your heart fully to everyone, in the way of giving and feeling your own emotions. If you follow rule number 3, and they get hurt, it is not your fault that they placed expectations on you. You have to live and set the example of how to live.
- Spend at least 30 minutes a day, and as often as you can all day, to practice relaxed breathing. Release all the muscles in your stomach and back, like a tire around your midsection, as well as your chest right up to your throat.
If you find this brings up emotional sensations. Just feel what you feel.
There are many methods of breathing practices but ultimately it is a matter of mentally releasing the tensions through observing your breathing with the intention to release the tensions as you feel them restricting your breathing.
I hope this helps you to find the one thing we all want, the ability to breath freely and deeply which is one and the same as feeling with an open heart, free of fear, and thus finally being alive and free. Feel free to contact me if you want to explore the practice and learn more about breathing.