“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
“Ordinary love is selfish, darkly rooted in desires & satisfactions. Divine love is without condition, without boundary, without change. The flux of the human heart is gone forever at the transfixing touch of pure love’. He [Sri Yukteswar] added humbly. ‘If ever you find me falling from a state of God-realization, please promise to put my head on your lap and help to bring me back to the Cosmic Beloved we both worship’”. ~ Paramahansa Yogananda, Autobiography of a Yogi p.90
Human love is the beginning of our life-long journey toward the experience of the Cosmic Beloved. When we begin in this world, our hearts only know love. We are innocent, and our karma has yet to rear its head. Over time, our hearts become jaded, angry, lost, frustrated, hurt. We ‘fall’ away from the Divine Mother that holds us to her bosom, the ‘Cosmic Beloved’ that nurtures us so completely that we remember we ARE love. In a sense, our hearts are locked, and the key has been given to someone ‘out there’ who we believe will save us from our dragons. We’re so wrong to do this, but also so right.
Human Love is Imperfect
You see, human love is flawed. It is messy. It requires humbling, trial and error. We wear masks that we think others in this grand play will adore, or covet, or shrink from in some cases. Rarely do we show ourselves as we truly are, which is bare-ass naked, and vulnerable, helpless, and completely loved and loveable. Our humanity feels more nude than a Michelangelo sculpture come alive.
Then, when we sit before others, we don’t really offer our love or our presence, we try to fix them. It’s a damned good trap, and we’ve all fallen into it at least once before if we aren’t doing it right now.
Instead of giving our mindful presence, we judge, condemn and intellectualize how they are making a huge blunder, instead of just observing them learn from their own mistakes as we have, like a mother watching her child fall taking their first steps. That kind of love is rare.
Open Your Heart
So how do you offer unconditional love, and unlock your heart? There are very concrete ways to do this, and it all starts with breathing.
When we breathe, we take the focus of the selfish, intellectual brain, into the chest. As our lungs fill, our heart chakra opens more fully so that we can see others with our hearts instead of our minds. Our hearts are, in fact, much smarter than our brains anyhow. It’s electromagnetic field is up to 5,000 times stronger than the brain and it also has 40,000 sensory neurons taking in information from those around you and relaying it to your brain. AND activity in your heart can be measured in someone else’s brain via EKG equipment.
You can also spend time in nature, and absorb as much of the color green as possible. This is the color, or vibration most often associated with the heart chakra. If you like, you can even invoke a Goddess known to resonate with the heart’s vibratory pattern by saying the Saraswati mantra. Saraswati is just one incarnation of the Divine Mother, or unconditional love.
You can also do absolutely nothing. According to one of my often referenced yoga teachers, Satyananda, the Anahata [heart] chakra is concerned with will, feeling, touch and the skin, especially of the hands, all manifesting in arts such as painting, poetry and music, which, he says, are all aspects of heart energy. Anahata chakra is the lowest of the three non-earthly or spiritual chakras – Anahata, Vishuddhi and Ajna. Satyananda also states: “In the present age, at this moment, we, the people of this world, are passing through a phase of Anahata chakra. This means that this chakra is beginning to awaken in us, whether we are working on it or not.
If you still feel compelled to work on the heart to experience more love, you can actively practice compassion by giving to others. This can take many forms. You can give monetarily, emotionally, or even spiritually by just holding someone in a loving place in your mind – even if that someone is just you.
Finally, you can laugh at this ridiculous ‘earth’ play. The heart loves laughter and this will allow you to love in ways you never imagined. It breaks down walls and misconceptions like nothing else. Some even think laughter is the ‘secret’ love that holds relationships together. It turns out that humbling, ego-crushing laughter is the best.
“Many studies show that a sense of humor is sexually attractive, especially to women, but we’ve found that self-deprecating humor is the most attractive of all,” said Gil Greengross, an anthropologist whose findings, ‘Dissing Oneself: The Sexual Attractiveness of Self-Deprecating Humor’, will be published in next month’s Evolutionary Psychology.”
“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~Victor Borge
Featured image from: Artist Android Jones.