The Opened Heart

My Healing Space

"The soul always knows what to do to heal itself.
The challenge is to silence the mind."
Caroline Myss

I begin my story with gratitude for the part of me that was able to silence my mind and listen to my soul. The part that responded to the gentle nudges that became more and more insistent. ”Get your heart checked out" , over and over. “Get your heart checked out.”” Get your heart checked out.”

I finally listened and one week later, I was having open heart surgery. Thank you.

I wasn't afraid going into surgery. My severe mitral valve prolapse had been discovered in time and I was simply grateful for that. But after the surgery I felt fear. Fear of being alone. Two years earlier my marriage had ended when my husband of 18 years came out of the closet. The noise in my head kept asking - who would be with me when it was the end of my life? Would there be loving arms around me?

I had always been a seeker. It was always important to me to strive for understanding of my role in this universe. As my heart healed physically, I realized my spirit needed healing too. I was given the gift of vulnerability, which awakened a more honest process of self-examination and personal responsibility.  This movement catalyzed a sense of urgency to understand my journey and to make sure it was purposeful, intentional and authentic. 

I clearly remember the first time I really heard the words “opened heart” in a completely different context than the one I had been living with. The new meaning pierced through me more deeply than the surgeon’s knife. I was watching Oprah Winfrey and she said, “When you live with an opened heart, unexpected, joyful things happen”. Soon I heard the words "Opened Heart" everywhere. Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson...all of the spiritual teachers I was learning with echoed that concept. I realized it was one of the most important lessons I could learn. With an opened heart, every single encounter could expand my connection to God and humanity. That single, simple act had the power to replace judgment and fear with forgiveness and compassion and love.

I came to realize that I had chosen responding with an open heart when my husband revealed he was gay. My first words to him were, "I am so happy for you", and I meant it.  Now, my ongoing quest is to approach all I encounter with that image of an opened heart, including towards myself. That is a little hard for me sometimes – trying to love myself as that voice reminds me of all the ways I was less than I could have been. But this thing I did! But that heart I broke!
But those words I spoke! But the thing I didn't do! But now I know that is not the voice of God. It is a false voice. How do you drown out that voice? With an open heart. Towards yourself.

How do you open your heart? You choose it. Visualize the place inside where you feel your soul reside. Swing the doors open in your mind. See the warmth and compassion and love flooding in and flowing out. Just like your heart. All you have to do is imagine it, and then feel it. Open Heart. Open Heart. Open Heart. Just like a heart beat. And then true healing will begin.

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