Sometimes opening your heart looks like a flower blossoming in the golden sunlight of a crisp spring day. Sometimes opening your heart looks like acknowledging that person who smiles at you, even if there is an awkward tension between you and their situation. Sometimes it looks like a hug from a friend, a cup of tea or dancing round the kitchen. Sometimes it means keeping your gaze on that person who is speaking into your life, or letting the pain of losing a loved one flood in. Sometimes it’s continuing to love even when you have different connection goals within a relationship. Sometimes it looks like forcibly, and consciously keeping your heart open with a crowbar and letting the love and pain pour in even if all you want to do is drop the curtain.
This has been my experience the past few months. I’ve generally worn my heart on my sleeve, but I’ve also known how to keep my heart closed, at a distance and protected. However, over this past year I’ve made a conscious effort to keep my heart crowbarred open and I’ve physically felt it heal. As I’ve kept it open to all the pain and love that has been coming my way I’ve felt my heart calm and slow, be peaceful, restful and thoughtful.
Fast forward five months and I just reread the above two paragraphs in my journal. The words resonate with me more than ever. Crowbarring my heart open this year has been the most joyful and yet most intense experience. One, however, which has brought about so much healing. It hasn’t gotten any easier, and I’m not sure if it ever will, but all the joy and pain of it is far outweighed by the growth and restoration which has occurred, and is still occurring. I’d love to never go back to a place of having to crowbar my hardened and stubborn heart open, yet due to knowing myself and emotions I reckon this is going to be an ongoing process. Hopefully one which I become more proficient in (and with the use of a less rusty crowbar).
Learning to let every single kind of emotion flow in and out of my heart. Learning to know how to handle them. Learning to know how to accept them. Learning to not shut down. Learning to stay a little bit longer. Learning to open, and keep my heart open, with a crowbar has been the single most important endeavour of 2015 and long may it continue.