It is not easy to have an open heart in a world that offers us a full plate of experiences. This life gives us much joy, love, and light, but it also shows us a fair amount of pain, sadness, and suffering. When our hearts are open, we take everything into ourselves, and we are deeply affected by what we see. We do not hold ourselves separate from the pain of others. In addition, our own personal disappointments may begin to take their toll. We may feel small, alone, and overwhelmed. Most of us may feel like we are not up to the task of living with our hearts open, and we might begin to close down, little by little, so that we can get through our days without having to feel too much.
One thing that can help us turn this situation around is an awareness of the power of empathy. To open our hearts to another person’s suffering is a revolutionary act that has energetic implications. Many experiments with meditation have proven that we can reach far beyond the boundaries of our selves and heal others when our hearts are open. Heart meditations awaken this power and heal the person meditating as well as anyone who is the focus of the meditation.
You may want to experiment with this the next time you see or hear something painful. Instead of shuttering your emotions, resolve to hold your feelings in your heart. Tap into the divine energy of universal love that resides in your heart. This energy makes you powerful, for it is your protection that will transmute the pain of others. Breathe deeply, and let yourself feel the pain of the situation, knowing that your heart is big and strong enough to hold it. As you breathe, visualize healing light emanating from your heart and touching all that are suffering. You will heal your heart in the process.