Living with an open, unguarded heart can be difficult because it exposes us to being hurt. If we disconnect from our heart, we are protecting ourselves and our tenderness cannot be crushed.
However, living in this state of self protection creates suffering, because we are not experiencing the openness that brings so much joy and pleasure to this human experience. So, we end up suffering (through self protection) to avoid suffering (the suffering of having our hearts broken).
What if we could instead, embrace our vulnerability and allow our hearts to remain open, even if we may get hurt? What if we knew that even if we did end up getting hurt at some stage, we can handle it and it is worth it! Living with an open heart is such an essential aspect of experiencing the joy of deep love and the depth of personal growth, healing, and connection that is possible.
When we guard our hearts, we also guard ourselves from experiencing the deepest intimacy, compassion, pleasure and authenticity possible with ourselves and others.
We need to examine and release the fear and pain underneath our armour, which isn’t always easy, especially when we have experienced a lot of hurt in the past.
Here are some practical tools to help you:
- Embrace vulnerability as a strength. Get “underneath” the armor that shields you from pain and allow yourself to feel it, express it and be seen in it. You can do this as your own practice and also with people that you love. Vulnerability is one of the ways that we release past wounds, heal emotional traumas, and cultivate self-love and acceptance. Trust in the process and see what it is like to relate to yourself and others with an open, unguarded heart.
- Be aware of the tendency to close your heart to avoid being hurt when it comes up. It is a common defense mechanism, but if you are not aware of it, you will just disconnect as an autonomic nervous system response. With awareness, you can choose something else. You can choose to not close down and let yourself feel and be seen instead.
- Cultivate self-compassion and direct love and kindness towards yourself. Understand that hurt is a natural part of life, but it does not define your worth. Treat yourself with forgiveness, self-acceptance and understanding, allowing your heart to heal and grow stronger.
- Practice somatic meditation and emotional release tools. Developing awareness of your emotions and reactions is key to keeping your heart open. Somatic meditation helps you observe your fears without judgment, allowing you to make conscious choices rather than reacting instinctively. Take time each day to focus on your breath, tune into your body, and embrace what you are feeling. Give these feelings sound and movement rather than keeping them stuck beneath your armour. The armour will fall away when you are willing to open and feel.
- Follow your heart and choose to spend a large amount of time in openness and connection. Make love, spend time in nature, write, sing, paint, play music, have fun. Do what brings you joy, spend time with those you love and allow your heart to flourish.
- Communicate authentically. Open and honest communication is essential for maintaining an open heart. Express your feelings and needs clearly, while also actively listening to others. When you create a space for your truth and vulnerability to be seen and heard, even if it feels uncomfortable at times, trust, love and intimacy deepens.
- Seek support. If you find it challenging to keep your heart open or to manage the fear of being hurt on your own, receive the support from a trusted friend or even better, an experienced practitioner. They can provide guidance, hold space for your emotions to be felt and seen, and help you navigate through any past traumas or wounds that may be affecting your ability to keep your heart open.
Our Tantra Transformation Bundle has lots of material and practices that can support you to live with a more open, vulnerable heart, release past wounds, heal emotional traumas, communicate authentically and cultivate self-love and acceptance. Or, if you feel you need 1:1 support, you can explore options of working with me.
Remember, keeping your heart open is a continuous journey that requires patience and self-compassion. By implementing these tools into your life, you can gradually release the fear of being hurt and experience the profound beauty that comes with an open heart.
Wishing you love, joy, and an open heart,
Chantelle Raven xx