My heart has been going through a transformation lately. It’s been years in the making, but I heard somewhere that transformation actually happens in a moment. And that’s what happened recently – a moment when my heart opened.
I can’t tell you the entire story just yet, but let’s just say it has to do with someone I met, who I took a shine to, and then have been going through that dance of vulnerability with – are they interested? are they going to disappoint me? Someone in my Superhero School class said it best – We vacillate between feeling better than and not good enough, both which leave us feeling separate.
And I saw this mechanism so plainly that night. It was operating in the background, probably how it always had, but this time I caught it – I saw how I go to judgment and aversion to protect my heart. Let me explain:
It was a very Bay Area situation – a 3rd date at a tantra workshop where we drank kava and sipped raw cacao, fed maca balls to a partner who was blindfolded. You know, the usual third date stuff! 😉 When I arrived, I was nervous. A tantra workshop? Elixirs? Squishy mats on the floor? What was I thinking?
I nervously took off my shoes and placed them in the entryway with all the others. I headed straight for the restroom, mostly to give myself something to do while I waited for my date. These aren’t my people, I thought. It’s too woo woo around here, I don’t belong here…
But I played along when the workshop began and put my hand on my heart as instructed. I sipped my raw cacao (delicious!) and meditated. “Tune into your heart chakra,” they instructed. ”Allow yourself to open.” As I did this, something surprising came into view- I saw how all of the resistance I was experiencing, all of the judgments I had arrived with, the aversion I had for “not my people” was how I protected my heart. None of it was true in any authentic way. It was just a stream of habitual thoughts designed to keep me safe, and at a distance. Tears burned in my eyes as I saw one of the ways I’ve pushed love away.
But here’s the magic part. In that moment of seeing the machinery at work, it dissolved. And at that very moment, the instructor said, “Now open your eyes and take in your partner with that open heart.” I looked at this man in front of me and was astounded by his beauty. I almost couldn’t take it in. This beautiful being. He looked different than he had just moments before.
It’s amazing how rare these moments are – seeing the world through a lens that is undefended and open-hearted, with eyes of love.
It costs something – vulnerability, openness. But it also gives you something back – the possibility of deeper connection with yourself, the moment, and others.
I want to be intimate with the world. I don’t want to live life at a distance anymore. I don’t want to be protected and defended forever, only letting in little bits of love. I want to grow my capacity, make more space, be brave with my heart, keep opening up.