Wholeheartedness - when you give all yourself to love completely - withholding nothing - is a sign that your heart is in full operation. If your heart has been broken, you will feel depressed, burned out, bitter, dissociated, scared and defensive.
In order to live a full and passionate life, you will need to recover your heart. If your heart has been broken in the past, it is your responsibility to heal it. Wholeheartedness is a 100% commitment to love all of yourself.
To return the brightness to your heart you can turn toward your heart every day, perhaps by placing a gentle hand upon it, and asking, "How is my heart feeling today?" Keep in mind that the reason you do not turn toward your heart regularly is that there are emotions stored in there that you do not want to feel, so this is a courageous practice.
Becoming Friendly with Your Emotions
Difficult emotions cannot be fixed or changed. They are remnants of past hurt that need to be lovingly attended to. Emotions do not want to be denied, nor do they need to take over and rule your life. And, so instead of giving into negative emotions, trying to calm them down through meditation, or using your mind to talk yourself out of your emotions, why not turn toward them instead?
Greeting your Heart
Aim to stand back from whatever emotion is in your heart without becoming it. With your hand on your heart, greet whatever feeling is there without judging it or trying to change it in any way. Allow whatever sensation that is in your heart to show itself to you, even if it is very faint and dull or strong and intense.
By observing how your heart feels, you might be able to name the feeling. This should help your hurt to relax a little because it will feel seen by you. You can also observe a feeling without giving it words. Inner pictures might come instead. You might feel a barrier around your heart, for example, and see a metaphorical image of a brick wall.
Being With Your Heart
Every one of us has a larger overseeing Self that can hold all the hurt that we have ever experienced. The hurting parts that express our heartbreaks will often seem younger or smaller. So the "Big You" can be with all the "little you's" that are still hurting from the past
So now, that you have greeted a distressed feeling in your heart you can welcome it to share more. So, there is You observing your heart, and there is also something else - a feeling or an image that is communicating with You. Perhaps this hurting being in your heart wants to tell you a story or share a memory with You.
If it is a particularly painful feeling, it might be angry with You. Typically, we lock away old heartbreaks in the basement of our psyche. If you listen to a hurt part in your heart, it might tell you its story, and this will help you feel right again. It will help you feel more whole.
And, sometimes, nothing much will come, especially if you have not been tending to your heart for a very long time. So just be with whatever comes. Your heart will speak to you more when you listen to it on a daily basis.
Compassion For What Hurts
After being with a feeling in your heart for 5-10 minutes, see if you can feel compassion for the part of yourself that is hurting. It is especially important to extend compassion to the parts of yourself that you do not like or that you feel ashamed of, or embarrassed about.
After greeting and spending time with your heart, this is the time to send love and compassion to the little parts of you that are hurting. You can tell a hurting part, "I hear you. It is ok that you feel the way you do. There must be a good reason. I am with you. You are welcome here." Then wait to see if the hurting part can take in your compassion.
If not, invite it to express more about why it is hurting, and reassure it again. If you listen to what is hurting in your heart deeply enough, and patiently enough, one day your heart will no longer hurt. Your heart will be healed, and you will feel more open and clear, ready to love again.
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