By Irene Sheard, Aged care worker and grandmother, Goonellabah
We often hear the phrase “opening our heart” but what does it truly mean?
There are a lot of references about the heart such as hard hearted, mean hearted, cold hearted, and of course the one many aspire to, “open hearted”. I have always considered myself a fairly “kind hearted” person who cared about others and made myself available to help others whenever I could. It is easy and convenient to think of ourselves in this way as we then don’t have to change anything and can keep living our life in the same old way, but how true is this perception of ourselves? Could what we think is our heart be an emotional part of us and not the original loving heart?
One of the first things I realised by attending these presentations is that I am already everything that is glorious and loving and that the parts of me that I think I am are only cover ups that I have learnt to live by, to literally cover up my hurts. I then believe that I am this person, whether it be a positive belief, such as “I am loving and caring” or a negative belief that I am “a horrible person who hurts others”.
As I dug deeper into this I realised that my behaviours had developed in reaction to my past hurts and fears and that I wasn’t being as gentle and loving with others as I had previously believed and I especially wasn’t being gentle and loving with myself.
As I explored further I began to feel the harshness and hardness in which I lived. It was quite shocking to me at first, but when I started to make those first steps towards gentleness (a bridge to love) I could then feel the depth of the hardness and how far away from love I was actually living. As I took these small steps I could feel a melting away of the hardness and a more connected way of being. I was able to realise this by observing how I was feeling in my body.
I began to understand the teaching by Serge Benhayon that “The body is the marker of all Truth” and this allowed me, with the support of Universal Medicine practitioners, to feel deeper and deeper into my body and I started to understand its language. I no longer felt a victim of my body and began to understand it was my friend and I began to take notice of its messages.
I started by practising gentleness in my daily actions in life, such as cleaning the house, cleaning my teeth, washing my face, drying my body after a shower, putting on makeup, washing up and putting myself to bed for the night.
My life started to change to a less chaotic way of living where I was able to feel a rhythm to my day and a lovely letting go at night for rest.
I was definitely feeling a more loving sense towards myself, but sometimes I chose to ignore the messages from my body, especially when I felt I needed to please others. I became more aware of my “helping” patterns and started questioning the reasons I did things for others and what energy I actually did them in. I realised the reasons I helped others was that I found it almost impossible to say “no” to requests and that I enjoyed the fact that I could be seen as “a good person”.
This was not an easy pattern to change. There were reactions from the people who had experienced my willingness to “help” in spite of my own needs. These reactions were mainly from family members whom I had taken on as a “rescue mission” for years and believed I could help them live a “better” life. It allowed me to feel important and that I had all the answers, that they weren’t even searching for. Suffice to say this was very exhausting on my body. It tried to tell me by manifesting chronic fatigue, depression and anxiousness. In the past I had only used band-aid solutions to deal with these conditions but now felt I needed to explore the deeper causes.
I then began to feel how many “hurts” I had experienced over the years. This was even harder to feel and admit but as I started to release these hurts from my body it felt lighter and more settled. I learnt that I actually have a choice to allow someone else to so-called “hurt” me, or instead I can bring understanding to the situation and allow my heart to stay “open” and in connection with myself and others.
This was a process that took some time to unfold and is something I still deal with on a daily basis. I started to feel a lot more energetic, a lot lighter and began to enjoy my life and take steps that I never would have imagined I could take when I was so bound by my old patterns of hurt and fear.
Part of this process was to start to take responsibility for my health and I began to have medical checkups, something I had neglected in the past.
This was a shock to me, to my friends and family and even the doctors, who were puzzled as I presented as a healthy, vibrant 71-year-old woman. A very different person than I had been six years previously. The angiogram pictures revealed to me someone who had been contracted for a long time by not allowing love to flow in and out of their heart.
I was offered a procedure where the cardiologist would drill the blocked calcium from my arteries and insert metal stents to hold the arteries open. The blockages were so massive that the procedure ended up taking over three hours, an unusually long time.
It took me some time to come to terms with and accept this diagnosis and the subsequent procedure as I believed myself to be super healthy by this stage of my life, but because I had learnt to “read” what my body was telling me, I was able to understand that my heart was now showing me how contracted and harsh I had been living for so long.
I now have an opportunity with open arteries to live in a more “open hearted” way.
This process continues and expands as I learn to be more honest with myself and others and not live with the pressure that I need to be a “nice, caring” person so others will like me.
It is all here within my own heart, I just need to be open to listening to the true energy of the heart, not the false, emotional one that can overlie it.
I wonder what my other organs have in store to tell me?