The path of the heart can be full of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. When our heart is fulfilled and happy, we can be in a state of boundless joy and ecstatic bliss, like we are skipping on clouds. In contrast, when our hearts are unsatisfied, grieving or broken, we can experience the deepest pain, and it can be hard to focus on anything else other than this almost physical feeling of heartache.
Many times, when I have been in this place of deep heartache, I have sworn never to open my heart again. It has felt impossible that I would ever be able to come out of the place of pain and opening my heart to risk this feeling all over again just didn’t seem worth it.
For a lot of my life, I was so afraid of love, that I had a myriad of subconscious defences in my toolkit. An energetic wall around my heart. I was usually only ever attracted to unavailable men so I wouldn’t really have to go in deeper and would find ways to not be attracted to men that were available thus avoiding situations where I might be required to be vulnerable or open hearted. But this was incredibly unsatisfying and my heart, even though attempting to self-protect, yearned for more.
The path of love has no guarantees, but when we draw our attention inwards rather than outwards, we can come into a state of love that goes beyond validation, fantasy or our external needs being met, and into an unwavering, true state of love that is eternal.
As tempting as it is, when your heart is broken, to put up those walls even stronger or, likewise, to go out and find a temporary lover to soothe the deep pain you feel, what if you could just stay within, and be with your open heart, in all its pain, yearning and deep love?
Below is an excerpt from Chantelle Raven’s Relationship Tantra manual, which all participants receive as part of our online course, “Relationship Tantra”. In this excerpt, Chantelle goes deeper into how to shed the fear around your heart and to continue to return to the love that is eternal.
If you are interested in learning more about relationships and how to do the work needed to keep an open heart, then pop your email in to watch this FREE Video Series by Chantelle Raven on “Transforming your relationship: From toxic & unhealthy dynamics, to loving & passionate Union.”
With Love, x Erin Fowler
Eliyah Practitioner and Temple Priestess
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Excerpt from Relationship Tantra Manual, Chapter 1 by Chantelle Raven:
What would your life look like if you were committed to shedding the fear around your heart and expressing your deepest desires?
When you understand how to let go of the fear that’s in the way of love, you can connect to the healing power of your heart—at work, with your family, with your friends, in nature and in time alone.
Fear is the opposite of love. When we allow fear to block our heart, we experience anxiety, tension, worry about the future, cling to the past and have the impulse to pull away from love. We can find temporary solace in addictions, food, snuggles, going out with friends and movie nights, but over time our heart’s pain will accumulate and we end up building more walls of protection or numbness around that pain.
What is the alternative? We can intentionally breathe ourselves open as the love that we are. When we realise that all our guarded moments in life are wasted moments, and practice intentionally opening our heart, this not only blesses our own life but also the lives of others.
Having this intention does not mean we will never feel fear or that our heart will never close. What it means is that when we feel fear, pain or hurt and our heart contracts, we recognise and process this so we can return to love, instead of creating separation or closing down. We go beyond the illusion of fear and remember that the truth of our divine essence is love.
Looking Beyond the Veil
This three-dimensional world is not what it appears to be. It is a gigantic illusion that acts like a veil in front of the truth that is love. There is a metaphysical understanding that the world beyond what we see, think and touch is more real than this one. When we make the intention to keep our heart open and pierce our own self-protective armour, we can hone our capacity to extend our perception beyond the mind and into the heart.
When we live beyond the veil by living in our hearts, we can recognise that fear is the absence of love, and when love is present, fear is gone. Instead of living our life at the mercy of our external circumstances, we process our pain in such a way that fear is expressed and released and we devote our lives to keeping our heart open no matter what.
The Origin of Fear
If you think of yourself as separate from others, you will feel fear. The part of the mind that feels separate, rejected, or wants someone or something to be different, is fear. But what if you knew you were already completely whole, and worthy of love?
When love starts flowing and we begin a new relationship, we can feel scared because in any moment that we love, the ego disappears. The fact that it scares us is a good thing, because death of the ego is a good thing. It takes conscious awareness to remain in the space of love and not run away. The sad thing about a lot of romantic relationships is that so many people run or disconnect as soon as fear comes up, rather than consciously reopening the heart. They build walls of fear instead of breaking open beyond the fear.
Losing ourselves in love can be scary, but not if we understood that losing ourselves is not a ‘bad’ thing. The goal of meditation and spiritual pursuits is to let go of identification with the personality, and the masculine does this through transcending while the feminine does this through fully merging with another. Why not have both? Both have something precious to offer us.
Opening the heart beyond fear eventually involves accepting others as they are, right now, rather than trying to manipulate or bully them into fitting into our agenda.
This does not mean becoming a push-over in the name of ‘love’ or accepting other people’s bad behaviour. We still own it when we feel angry, hurt or disappointed, and we still express what we need and set healthy boundaries. But we do it in a relaxed way, without attachment to the other person having to change.
Often, we try to communicate before opening our hearts and then wonder why the other person didn’t understand our feelings. Or we try to make love before opening our hearts and then wonder why we don’t enjoy it or why we feel resentful and dissatisfied. If we’re sharing our emotions just to vent, or having sex just to get off, it is not respectful or healthy.
Instead of communicating when we feel charged, defensive, frustrated or angry, we can sublimate the emotion (raise the energy) into the heart, and following this a healthy discussion from the heart can take place.
Return to Love
Honing the mind and returning to the heart centre will unleash the love that is already inside of YOU. We begin remembering that love is not something external; it is something we feel right inside our hearts as the essence of who we are.
The challenge is never that we need to create more love; the challenge is to remove the barriers we have against the natural flow of love that is always here. We have built these barriers to avoid uncomfortable feelings ever since we were born, perhaps even earlier. Once we remove these barriers, love automatically bursts forth with its power to heal.
Is it easy? No, not always. I have had a very difficult time with relationships, like many of us. Life constantly provides me the opportunity to practice the principles I teach, but it takes work. Is it worth it? Yes. Does it make you a kinder, more loving, accepting, forgiving human? Yes. Does it get easier? Yes. Will you attract greater love in your life as a result? Yes.
Relationships are a spiritual path in themselves and we attract people who will give us the maximum opportunity for soul growth. They teach us so much, and we will learn great lessons—if we are prepared to move beyond fear! If we choose to, this is the place from which relationships, sex and even our careers can really flourish. By choosing love over fear we start to face our own issues, our own (perceived) character defects, judgments and wounds. Until and unless we feel and go within, they will keep us separate and incapable of deep, expansive love.
Chantelle Raven, Relationship Tantra Manual.