“There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” ~ Leonard Cohen.
The way the heart grows is by cracking open. Just like an insect breaks through its old skin so it can grow larger, our hearts need to break, to hurt, to crack open before they can grow bigger. To contain more love in our bodies, to be able to feel deeper and more intense, we need to break through the shells of protection that we’ve built around our hearts. Only then our hearts can be free.
Life will test you, once you’ve cleared your mind and set your intention on growth and self-liberation. ‘Just how far are you willing to open your heart? Can you take this person walking out of your life? Can you handle this bill with a smile?’ It can be very subtle too. ‘Are you aware of this amazing person in your life, and how you would serve this person (as well as yourself) best by letting each other go?’
It’s not always easy to see the path towards heartbreak and growth, as we have our egos to protect us. I see the ego as a part of us that wants to prevent us from being wounded. In ancient times, when we had to face predators and invasive Vikings and so on, this was pretty useful. Nowadays the chances of being ambushed by a mountain lion or a robber decreased towards nil. But our defensive system works as strongly as in those past days. The interesting thing is that our brains don’t make a difference between real danger (a truck approaching at high speed) or imagined danger (fear of being rejected). Throughout our lives we have built many shields of protective layers. Call them fear of being not good enough, the fear of making mistakes, the fear of being unloved, just to name a few. We are constantly protecting ourselves from feeling hurt.
But walls are immovable. The only way to create more space for love in our hearts and in our bodies is by breaking down the walls brick by brick. Or, if you dare, by causing earthquakes that make them tremble and fall apart.
Maybe it’s the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in my life: opening my heart, again and again. I’ve told life that I want to go beyond what frightens me, to be able to contain as much love as possible. And so I’m being challenged.
Can I accept my partner for who he is right now? Can I let go of my longing to change him into another shape? Can I forgive him for the times he did something that hurt me? Can I love him when he’s emotional or not there for me?
Can I open my heart for my kids, when they do the things I asked them a thousand times not to do?
Can I open my heart for the man I never called my lover, but who felt really close anyway? Now we decided to let go of the neediness towards each other, of the seeking for confirmation which actually kept us away from opening our hearts from a place of love. Instead, we were hiding in fear. But this process of setting each other free brings so many mud-covered walls back into the light. It hurts, it’s scary. But my heart is still open, even though that sometimes frustrates me. Running away would be so much easier.
Can I love the man I choose not to work together with anymore, because our perspectives are different?
Can I love the woman with whom I had different opinions and confrontations in the past, now she is asking me for support?
Even though opening my heart when I’m in fear is the scariest thing to do, and it can even physically hurt, I can do it. The only thing I have to do is choose to open up. Choose to be vulnerable, and accept the emotions that may arise without resistance.
The beautiful part is that I appear to be able to feel more love than ever when I choose to allow my walls to crack and my heart to break. Light streams in, and its beautiful.
Tonight I went dancing again. To me, intuitive, barefoot dancing is meditation. The crowd is my mirror. How am I doing?
When the music started, my body moved slowly. I watched the people and could see how amazingly beautiful they were. The grey man in white clothes, kneeling in the middle of the dance floor, looking like he’s in deep prayer. The young woman with beautiful long hair, moving gracefully. The old man with long hair and skin like crackled paper who looks like an Indian, shells and stones around his neck and a fragile smile on his lips. The shy and self-secure people. Young and old. Men and women. I moved in slow-motion, drinking them in with my eyes, a buzzing feeling from my heart pouring into the space.
Everywhere I looked there were people I met before. People I loved. Most of them I see only occasionally. Some of them I don’t even know by name. We danced passionately. We made love on the dance floor with our energies. Instead of getting out of the way of the people that attract me (I used to assume I would be a burden to them), I found myself approaching them. Looking at them, inhaling their presence. There was a clear voice in my head: ‘Don’t hold on to anyone. Enjoy whatever comes up, but don’t hold on to anything or anyone.’
With a smile I watched a beautiful man, thinking he must be the cutest one in this crowd, before I let my eyes linger elsewhere, simply tasting all those energies. A few minutes later he dances in a straight line towards me, whispering he knows me. ‘Wait a minute, this is funny,’ I think to myself. We dance our separate ways after I remember where we – indeed – met before. At the end of the evening we meet in a playful dance. His body shakes. I recognize the kundalini energy. He starts to groan and I feel the tiger inside him. I feel surprised since he looked so sweet and innocent. But I like this even better. Playfully but firmly I pull his hair. In response he starts to dance more intense, more powerful, showing me more of himself. It was so beautiful. And not just him. I feel so unbelievably grateful for the people who show their deepest self to me, when I open my heart as far as I possibly can in this moment.
All the people and situations that challenge me right now: I love them. I feel grateful for what they show me, what they teach me. There’s a Russian proverb saying: ‘There’s more light than the amount that can come in through a crack.’ So let this heart of mine break into a thousand pieces. I want to let the light shine in. I’m ready.