Recently I’ve found myself asking “is it possible that Anahata, our heart center, can ever be too open? Do we risk too much by exposing our hearts to others?
Anahata is the energetic center related to the heart that is located smackdab in the middle of the chakra system. Because of it’s location, Anahata acts as a bridge between the lower foundational chakras and the upper more ethereal chakras. I like to think of Anahata as a bridge between both worlds. As we root down through our base, a strong, open Anahata clears the way for higher consciousness. Leading with our heart without fear, vengeance, or regret, we ultimately evolve into more compassionate, understanding, and evolved human beings.
But too what extent….
You see, I’ve always been the “wear my heart on my sleeve” girl. It takes me a long time to open up to people, but once I do, you’re in. And when you’re in, you’re in for life. I have always found it difficult to dispel people, places, and things once they have been close to me and I feel eternally grateful for those people and experiences, good and bad, for helping me evolve into the human being I am today. But, I wonder, when is it too much? What’s the risk we take when we love fearlessly? Let me be clear, that this is not all about romantic love, but includes love for our Self, our family and friends, and for the world at large.
After much rooting around and discussion with friends, my answer is no-it’s never too much as long as the energy is not misguided. Which means, that as long as our intentions are clear and our hearts are full of love, there is no risk in having a heart that is too open. Even if this leads to heartbreak and disappointment, living with an open heart can be the most freeing experience you’ll ever have. Not only does your love of life grow, but your capacity for forgiveness and compassion for others, especially those really difficult ones, increases tenfold. It becomes easier to let go, forgive and forget, and move on. You also begin to see others as holy beings, not just pieces of flesh and nasty emotions. As Yogi Bhajan says “if you don’t see God in all, you don’t see God at all.”
A friend of mine reminded me of the saying “it is better to have loved and been loved than to never have loved before” and with all my heart, I believe that’s true. I can’t imagine not being where I am today without all of the love and heartache I’ve experienced and for that I’m truly grateful. At times it has been downright devastating, but I’ve always managed to pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on to bigger, better, brighter destinations.
The hardest thing I ever had to do was to tell someone I cared deeply about that I no longer had reciprocal love for them. This revelation did not come lightly and I grappled for many months through deep introspection, meditation, and contemplation on the right thing to do. I realized that I could not serve this relationship in a way that was beneficial to myself and to my partner and ultimately decided to part ways. It was painful, hurtful, horrific, tiring, and exhausting, but having done so has allowed my heart to open up even more. If you love something, you must let it go. No matter if it hurts, no matter how hard it is. Holding on to toxic relationships, be it romantic or otherwise, ultimately does more harm than good. It can close off our heart center, and lead us right to misery’s door step. In the end you sacrifice ultimate truth to save face and without truth, where will you be?
Someone recently asked me what my biggest weakness is and without hesitation I said “I’m too hard on myself” which, to an extent, is true. But when I take another look at this question I see that actually I’m too trusting and that this comes from my open heart. No matter how many times I’ve been hurt, I still believe that people are going to do the right thing, that they will be honest in actions and words, and that inherently, we are all too good to be bad. I trust that people I’ve opened up to will not take advantage of me in a way that is compromising to my virtues and although I continuously tell myself to hold back, don’t put my trust there, be a skeptic, I can’t. It’s not within my nature. My heart is open and I accept that things may not always work out as planned, but by living this fearless way without reservations or regrets, I am being as true to me as I can be.
As I continue to evolve, my heart opens up even more to the point where I can no longer go to PetSmart on the weekends because more often than not I leave heartbroken for the animals that won’t get adopted. I cannot watch that National Wildlife Federation commercial with the mama and baby polar bear and I could only get through the first 10 minutes of Earthlings before I had to shut it off and sat sobbing in my living room. I also felt so much heartbreak watching Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand that I distinctly recall saying “the earth is crying” before realizing the words had left my mouth.
Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Keeping my heart open and really allowing myself to feel these things has made me appreciate life and all of it’s blessings so much more. I feel distinctly more happy and optimistic as I move throughout my day and my compassion and understanding for others has grown exponentially. I’m more present and much more appreciative of my life and those around me.