What does it mean to have an open heart?
This weekend I am in a Diamond Approach retreat. Diamond Approach combines insight meditation with western-style psychological reflection. Each retreat centers around a theme. This weekend’s theme is the heart. If you have been following my blog or know me, you know that the heart is central to my spiritual path. So this theme taps right into central questions for me: how to be true to my higher self in a difficult world.
I believe in love. I believe in openness. I believe in vulnerability. I believe in authenticity. I have found joy in staying open and affirming everything I hold true.
How do I hold true to these beliefs when I am met with closed hearts? What do I do when I give love and it is not reciprocated?
What this weekend is teaching me is that sometimes that my commitment to staying open results in me skipping over situations where I feel hurt, and not acknowledging that my heart wants to close. Sometimes I shave off parts of myself in order to allow the other person to feel comfortable. Sometimes I keep things happy and safe to encourage the other person to meet me, instead of being honest about my own feelings of disillusionment.
I don’t know where this insight takes me. I know it doesn’t take me into the polar opposite of where I am coming from. The answer is not to swing into recriminations and harshness. The answer is not to hide my love. The answer is not to go unconscious and “act out” my hurt and anger in thoughtless ways.
There is a middle ground that I still need to find. I know that it involves being able to feel free to express anger and hurt in healthy and spontaneous ways. I know it involves being okay with alienating people if need be. I know it involves saying NO to others if that is what it takes to say YES to me.
I don’t think I am all of the way there yet. The line between openness and accommodation is difficult to trace. But I am grateful for the space to explore these questions in a supportive community. I welcome any insights from people who are working through similar issues in their own lives. What situation is causing you to confront this issue most clearly?