Cracking open of the heart...
One day, something shifted...
The doors across her heart space begin to peel open, revealing the brightest and most beautiful blood red rose - tightly closed in a bud - but finally ready to uncurl into an expression of itself that would be unrecognisable from it’s previous form.
You see - this space has been bound tightly for decades. This part of her had been protected. A carefully constructed Armour wrapped around this vulnerable place, yet now the shell can no longer hold - the edges are cracking open - the barriers are being broken down.
I watch this happen, as if an outsider - but this cracking open is occurring deep within.
The heart is an emotional part of our being, and over years there can be much pain and trauma that occurs. Sometimes the pain is obvious, but other times it can be tiny little moments, like shards of glass penetrating the soft layer and eventually the mind believes that our hearts can't take any more, and the shell starts to harden. The petals of the heart begin to close, feeling becomes 'too much'.
We switch off compassion, we switch off kindness, we switch off to any feelings of love - because - honestly - these feelings are often excruciatingly painful. This reflects upon ourselves, and often to those we love as well.
To love is to risk, and to risk is a terrifying prospect. And so numbness becomes to feel like home.
I think that heart ache is the most brutal sensation that a human can experience. It is like a void and a heaviness all in one. When our heart is full of joy and love, it can feel as though it may simply burst - but when there is grief, and anger, and loss and sadness - this sensation can be truly overwhelming.
But heart ache is also a wonderful gift. It changes your world in a second because to feel is to be human, to feel is to be real, to feel teaches you empathy and understanding for another, to feel is a genuine connection.
To allow yourself to truly love takes courage dear heart, a journey of ups and downs is certain - for to love fully is to risk that love being taken away. To love fully is to put yourself in the path of potential pain, but to not take that chance is to deny yourself the greatest gift of all.
Love feels to me like an ocean of waves of emotions - in all their magical forms - they will undoubtedly wash over, and over, and over again.
Sometimes these waves will wipe you out. Sometimes these waves will carry you.
And when we do not feel equipped or ready for these sensations, when we do not have a level of trust within ourselves, or the support we require to navigate the journey - numbness can feel like the only solution. A safety mechanism. A survival instinct.
However, selectively numbing is not an option - the only way we can feel the happiness and giddiness that comes with connection and love - is to also be open to feel the darker, scarier and more uncomfortable moments.
And so unravelling this caged heart is the only option if we want to feel alive.
I feared this pain for many years - because to open up to loving anything or anyone with all my heart, means that there is a risk of uncomfortable moments. It means losing control and not being able to predict or plan for things. For years there was a shutting down that I mistook for strength. I thought by not feeling, and not allowing myself to crack a little - I was holding it together. I convinced myself it made me more in control and more powerful.
I built an impenetrable cage around my heart. A force field of protection.
But we can't be in control of love and our hearts. The beauty of this space we have is the unpredictability of feelings. And I think the heart is stronger than we give it credit. I think the mind is what does not want to give up control.
The mind attaches to expectation, and our inner critic plays cruel games along the way, but real love is unconditional. It doesn’t require reciprocation to feel worthy and whole. True love, I realise now, has to stem from a love of ourselves - as cliche as that sounds.
The world is full of caged hearts, but mine is no longer one of them.
This blood red rose, sits nestled in my chest. A living, breathing organ that slowly, petal, by petal is blossoming into a vibrant and wonderful expression of what was once locked away. I didn't know it was possible to break down those barriers and enjoy the multitude of feelings that arose.
Feeling is a terrifying prospect at times - because to feel alters the way you see the world. And right now, the world is full of suffering.
She cracked. But not because she was broken, because she had been strong for too long and there was only one way to truly live right now. Cracked open.
The tightness in the vessel that held her together, no longer a woven fabric, and as the truth began to seep out into the world around her, she no longer had to hold this cloak around her closed up heart.
To the outside eye this process looked like complete destruction.
A stripping bare, a nakedness like no other. An unravelling thread that sometimes showed no signs of ending.
But to the ones who looked carefully and understood, the ones who were brave enough to see a different way, this cracking open was the most beautiful process they had ever seen.
With walls so thick, it is hard to see the true essence of a person. But as the walls begin to crumble, and the cracks start to become bigger, you can start to see past the outer shell.
Cracks do not mean weakness. Cracks do not mean broken. Cracks do not mean something needs to be 'fixed'. Cracks mean that finally the light is able to shine through. That softening is occurring and a movement, a flexibility that is absolutely beautiful in it's expression.
In Japan, there is an artistic process called Kintsugi. When precious pottery breaks, it is repaired with a gold lacquer and these cracks become a valuable part of the objects history, instead of being seen as something damaged or useless. To me these cracks are even more stunning than the perfectly polished piece.
By allowing my own heart to open, and my own heart to ache, I see the courage in any person who has dared themselves to feel so deeply that their heart is cracked wide open. I see the full spectrum of emotions, I see those who have leaned in to the experience and learned about themselves, instead of shying away. I see this brave, beautiful process - and it gives me strength and gives me hope.
You have no idea just how much you give me hope.
As much as I wish it wasn't the case sometimes, in order for us to feel alive, to feel that beating heart - we have to allow cracking to occur, we have to trust the unfolding petals of that beautiful rose.
To live with a heart wrapped up in chains, is to not really live at all. I know that now this way of being is an impossibility to me.
My heart is now wide open.
Allow the cracks to appear my love,
Don’t fear the crumbling patterns
The blood red rose inside your heart
Can withstand the harshest winter
Let the petals show themselves
Feel the tight bud burst right open
Your beauty sits within these walls
Feeling does not mean broken.
Love hard, love fiercely, live your whole life in love.