Living with an open heart

Rishikesh, India,                                                                                                                     February 28th, 2017

Lately, I have been learning a lot about love. Love for self, love for others and the love that surrounds us all. It has made me wonder, is everything just made up of love?
Though, when it is absent we feel alone, disconnected and confused.

In one moment we have the whole world in our hearts, so much so, we feel as though we might explode. In the next, it slips through our fingertips, leaving an empty space.

How do we maintain this presence of love, how do we keep it close?
How is it that we can we feel so full yet so empty?
In a room full of people, yet, completely alone.
Can we grow if you do not entirely trust the world around us?
Can we move forward with distrust in our heart…
For me trust is everything. It is the glue that holds life together, it is the seed that allows love to grow. I’m not just talking about romantic love but the love in every relationship, the love in every interaction we have with the people and the world around us.

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From a young age, we have been taught that emotions are meant to be kept inside. When we cry as a child we are told to stop, when we laugh too loud in a quiet space people stare as if we are crazy. If we are different to everyone around us somehow we are not ‘normal’, because we are different somehow that makes us wrong.

This eventually begins to change the way we express ourselves in a social environment. Scared what others might think. If we express ourselves in an open way and people knock us down we begin to question ourselves. And then begins the thought of conditional love. Maybe if we change a few things about ourselves people will begin to accept us. Maybe if I looked different, maybe if I talked different, acted differently, then I would be loved…

I think it’s strange that we wait for other people’s acceptance to see our own worth, we wait for other peoples love to love yourself. As time goes on we continue to build a wall of protection. We change that which makes us different to fit the mould of what we think the world want us to be.

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A lot of people spend their life closed off, unconsciously searching for acceptance. Going through the motions of day to day life but not allowing anything in. They settle in their comfort zone, not trusting what is outside of it. They spend years building a barrier around them. Though what they do not realize is that this barrier blocks the flow of trust, it blocks the flow of love.

If you are closed to love it does not mean that it stops flowing to you, it just means you will not feel it. Love is completely impersonal and selfless. This love is inside of you somewhere and sometimes it shows up. Sometimes you feel a sudden love for a place, an experience, a person and what opens you up is gratitude.

When you feel grateful your heart opens. When you feel grateful you trust the world around you and the doubt begins to fade. It is necessary to do a lot of work on yourself to open to this kind of love. Then you become love.

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I choose to see everything as a lesson. I choose to see challenges as an opportunity for growth.

As lessons continue to present themselves we must stand strong in our center, we must stay connected to our truth. Allowing the madness to dissolve away with each breath, allowing the noise to fall away. We will begin to notice that what is underneath isn’t emptiness but spaciousness, and there you are so beautifully you in all of your faults in all of your differences.

I see this love in strangers eyes, I see kindness and depth. I see myself reflecting back at me, and then it all becomes clear. All of the beauty we see in others is the same beauty that is within us, all that we admire in others has been with us all along. We were just not ready to see it. Once we open the cage around our heart we are able to let go of our fear, let go of our doubts. We are able to let go of the stories we create in our mind that are holding us back.

DSC01639To be in a place full of beautiful strangers so open and so willing to share has been such a humbling experience. To know that it is possible to live with an open heart, and stay strong in your vulnerability.

I am so thankful for every moment, for every interaction, for every smile and every tear. Sometimes the lessons aren’t so kind but these are the ones that allow us to grow and flourish beyond our wildest dreams. The stronger you become the tougher the lessons. This is where the magic happens.

You are exactly where you are meant to be.

Always!

And to think, this is only the beginning…

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