Each of us is here to learn to love. This is my perspective working closely with my fellow humans for the last 35 years. Yes the capacity of loving is something we all come equipped with. However in the span of a lifetime many things affect our ability to love.
Life can teach us to open our hearts as we go or to protect ourselves. Hurt can cause us to closed down but sometimes the rebound is a more open heart. Our thoughts shape our experience of love also. If we are open to others and see life as lessons we can grow from the experiences of living then love expands in us. If we take the scars of life and hold on to what was not ok then our heart will become less available.
Expanding the hearts capacity to love is more opening to what we have inside than trying to grow something new. Let’s say that we come into this life as an infant with an open heart that has no limits to how much love it can share. Then as life progresses we acquire some baggage of experiences that we decide at some level to protect ourselves against. This protecting of our heart is often done unconsciously. So with a pile of hurt or disappointment sitting there we may withdraw and put up a shield to feel safe. Protecting the heart makes us feel cold and distant from others and even ourselves.
What opens our heart?
- Taking a chance and opening our heart to another
- Showing up in life and being present to our heart offers us opportunities to love living
- The love of another opens us to the possibility of finding our heart
- Being aware of the suffering of others and feeling compassion for their journey
- When we take care of others we end up caring
- Acts of kindness makes us feel more in touch with our heart
- Patience allows us to discover who another person is and in the discovery love is possible
- Having a pet sometimes is a great beginning step for opening our hearts.
- Meditation practices like Loving Kindness will open us up in a focus way
- Find what we can love about another person opens us to loving them more fully
- Friendships begin with exploring how well we get along and after a while love shows up
- Family we love without question and that love grows with time
- Divine love comes from being in touch with a Higher Source, which opens us to love in all of our life
- Entering the state of unity consciousness teaches us that we are all brothers and sisters
- Eventually love is so present that we find ourselves open in our hearts to everyone, even those so much different than us
What in life has opened your heart? Is your heart as open as you want it to be? Are you willing to be more vulnerable and let people get close to you?
Peace Letter #97
Dear President Obama,
Maybe it is time to sort out some priorities? We have the war, the economy, the oil spill, jobs needed, terrorist, the Court appointment battle, angry citizens, corporate irresponsibility and greed, election finance reforms, immigration issues, international financial problems and an opposition party that will lie and do whatever it takes to get back into power even if it means ruining the country. That is a lot to juggle.
How about simplifying things and bring our troops home. Move toward peace so our resources can be focuses on what is needed for the good of us all.
Joseph Bernard, Ph.D.
Join me and send President Obama emails of support and encourage the end of war and the other dysfunctional ways of government at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact