Woe is my Closed Heart
It is afraid
It is alone
It is clothed for battle from an old and forgotten war
Woe is my Closed Heart
I wonder if it can open?
One of the things I’ve been working on with clients is the idea of leading with an open heart.
I believe when we meet the world open-heartedly, the world meets us back that way. The energy of an open heart is magnetic and magical. It’s our natural state. It’s how we were born.
But our reaction to hardships in life can cause us to close our hearts. After we get knocked around enough, it feels safer to lead with a closed heart. Our closed heart becomes our default.
Why not? Past hurts are influential! When I talk to clients about opening their hearts, I often get pushback: “I’ll be too vulnerable. I’ll be taken advantage of. If I let down my guard, they will destroy me!”
I believe that beliefs like this are running the show. So if we believe letting down our guard will end badly, it’s probably not a good idea to do so.
Problem is — our closed heart is not powerful. It’s defensive and proud and on guard. It’s not open to magical thinking. It resists support and easy love. It’s suspicious. It might even be unkind.
Our closed heart blocks our good. Our open heart welcomes it.
So how do we change? How do we believe that our open heart can be safe in this world that has proved itself inhospitable so many times?
I have a client who recently said, “The big world is not nice or supportive and I expect criticism when I put myself out there.”
With a belief like this, it’s only reasonable to put on armor when going out into the world. Or better yet, not to go out into the world at all!
But that’s not good enough. That means we are arming for battle every day. We are expecting attack. Over time, that gets very exhausting.
What if there is another way?
If you like, write down what comes up for you when you think about being in the world with an open heart. Does it sound fun or does it fill you with fear?
Read what you’ve written and breathe out the fearful beliefs. Then gently add in some positive beliefs to replace them.
This may seem hard at first. When we have a lot of momentum around the world being unsafe, the world continues to show up that way. To shift beliefs and literally shift the world before our eyes, we have to stop believing what we see for a bit. Because as we say positive affirmations about the safer, kinder world, it might not change all at once. In fact, for a while, the world might even seem worse.
Those horrible news stories will call out and say, “Hey, a friendly world? Who are you kidding? Look at this. I’ll prove to you what a terrible world this is!”
Either we take the bait and start the cycle all over again. Or reach for something higher.
And as we reach for a higher thought, as we reach for a gentler expectation in every moment, we build new momentum. We come to expect a friendlier universe — no matter what’s happening out there.
Little by little, we learn to lead with an open heart. And that’s so much more fun!