“Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.” –Michael Singer
This morning, as I was rereading Michael Singer’s excellent book, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself, the quote above jumped out at me. Singer explains that by closing our hearts because of disappointment, or the trauma of past events, we close ourselves to the flow of energy through us, indeed the flow of life itself. Over time our hearts become constricted.
Picking and choosing when to open and close our hearts may protect us from pain in the moment, but in the long run, we lose out. We sell ourselves short.
I know that much of our pain and trauma is from childhood events, buried deep within us because we needed to protect ourselves as children. But throughout our lives, those experiences, those disappointments, get triggered in the most unexpected ways. New disappointments also attach onto the original trauma and strengthen it. The flow of energy is blocked.
The problem that comes with closing our hearts is that even though it may seem protective, we’re not the best judge of when to open and close them. Sure, it’s easy to keep an open heart when things are going well and the people we care about tell you that they appreciate and love us.
But when we’re not getting that, when we are frustrated at work, when we are upset with our partner, when we are fearful, when someone is unkind to us, that’s the time to stay open.
As adults, we can more safely explore and allow those past traumas to soften and release. We can take better care of ourselves. So there’s value in trying to release the stored energy patterns from the past because if we don’t, they will continue to run—and ruin—our lives.
We can seek help, whether through meditation, journaling, counseling or other means. Even as we deal with some of these deeper entrenched energy patterns, we can resolve to be brave, to open to life now, as it is, moment by moment.
It’s always moment by moment, isn’t it? Life happens in the moment, nowhere else.
We may miss out on some of these moments when an old energy pattern sucks us back in, and before we know it we’ve not been listening to what our friend has been saying, we didn’t see the smiling and waving child, we finished the bowl of ice cream with really savoring it, we missed the sunset. Where did we go? This is the price we pay—the full experience of life stolen from us. Our life.
Have you ever reopened a tap or faucet that has been turned off for a long time? First, there is some sputtering and a few uneven spurts of water; it may even be brownish with sediment. Then, after a few seconds, the water flows more evenly in a fresh, clear stream.
That’s a good metaphor for what happens when we close our hearts. We want to keep our hearts open so energy can keep flowing, clean and bright. We want the sediment of our experiences, collected for so long, to be flushed out.
As we keep our hearts open, we become part of the universal consciousness and flow of energy to which we have always belonged. In that flow we will find our true refuge from the trials and tribulations of this world. In that flow, we will also find our greatest ease and joy.
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