one open their heart. For example, any
sort of back bend will put you in a position where your chest is raised towards
the sky. Even a slight back bend opens
the heart as in Fish pose. In the book Eat
Pray Love, Liz Gilbert tells a story about a man she meets in the ashram in
India who shares he’s been seeking an open heart. She asks him what motivated him to come to
the ashram and he tells her he kept asking God to “open his heart.”
One day he had a heart attack and his heart was literally opened. One need not have surgery to create a more
open heart. There are many more gentle
ways to accomplish this worthwhile trait.
struggling with one particular incident.
I felt very hurt by this episode and was sharing it with a good
friend. It really wasn’t such a big deal
looking back on it but at the time I was upset and I felt I was justified in my
complaining. So, there I was moaning
about the situation. She listened and
then gave me some of the best advice I have ever had in my whole life. She said, “Remember, Jean, your only job
is to love.”
last 20 years, I have many many journals boxed up. Every time I begin a new journal I transfer a
few things to the front paper pockets and the beginning pages. I transfer my intentions for the year, my
daily prayers, my list of people I am presently praying for and my positive affirmations. I also write on the inside of the front
cover, “Remember, Jean, your only job is to love.”
It’s the main message Jesus Christ came to give us. When he was asked; Mt 22:36 “[Jesus], which is
the great commandment in the law?”
He said to them, ‘’You
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and
with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is
like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments
depend all the law and the prophets.”
others? Do you think it’s because of
their DNA or is it because of their upbringing?
Is it “nature” or “nurture”? It’s probably like most of our traits; it’s a
combination of both. But, can we learn
to love more, love greater? Can we be
people who can love no matter what?
You’ve heard the stories about people who forgive their worst
enemies. Can you learn to love an
enemy? Can one learn to separate the
sinner from the sin?
I married a man who has a huge heart.
I believe he was genetically predisposed to being a loving, kind man and
then, he had the additional advantage of having amazing parents who showed him
by example exactly what unconditional love is, especially his mother. I have
never heard my mother-in-law say anything, ever, that was derogatory about
another human being, and especially about someone in her family. My husband teases that if we had a bank
robber in the family his mom would say, “He’s the best bank robbed
times than I have been kissed in three years.
Almost everyone I met gave me a kiss on the cheek and a warm hug. One day we went to the soccer practice of my
consuegra’s (my daughter-in-law’s mother) granddaughter. Six of us sat in the bleachers watching her
practice, her three grandparents, her aunt, my son and myself. When the girls were finished practicing the
entire team came up to the stands to greet us.
I watched these teenage girls start down the row kissing and greeting
all the grandparents, then they kissed the aunt. I thought they’d stop at that point and was
amazed when they continued on to kiss my son and then me, two people they
“didn’t know from Adam.”
but at this point in my travels I’d been greeted like this for several
weeks. Greeted and welcomed into
people’s homes, lives and in some cases into their hopes and dreams. As far as I could see these people in this
culture responded with more affection and respect than I normally
experienced. I had the honor of being
hosted by my consuegra and I can share with you that the hugs and warm daily
greetings and good nights were freely shared with anyone who happen to be in her
remember thinking, “I can do that.” But, I must admit it is easier
said than done. There are many in my
life that I find very easy to love and there are some I struggle to love. Some days I feel like my heart is closed and
hard. When I am aware of that state, I
engage my breath to help me open up. I
take several deep breaths and visualize my heart expanding in my chest, like a
red balloon. I’ve also done many other
“open heart” mediations. These
mediations usually involve inviting loving thoughts and feelings into one’s
heart. First, you invite those who you
find easy to love, then you invite someone you may be struggling with and
finally, you invite yourself. You take
the time to allow each person to rest within the warmth of your bosom and then
you release them and yourself out into the universe, full of light and warmth
and wonderful energy, a release that blesses you, them and the world.
unconditionally. But, I think there’s a
secret. I don’t think we need to be born
into a family of warm blooded Latinos or Italians. It’s nice if we’re born into a loving,
affectionate family. It probably makes
it easier but the secret is to learn to accept love, to believe you are worthy
of love, to believe that you are truly loved, loved for who you are because you
are and not for any other reason. We
need to believe we are loved, loved first and foremost by God. We need to know without a doubt that we are
amazing wonderful beings who deserve to be loved. Once we can fully embrace that concept, we
can open our heart to receive and then to give that which we have
received. If we don’t accept it, we
can’t, it is impossible, to give it out.
It’s like filling up the car with gas.
If you don’t open the gas cap and let the gas flow in, you won’t be able
to go anywhere. You’ll be stuck in one
place, empty and dried out.
“Remember, (your name), your only job is to love.”? What kind of an
effect would that have on your relationships, on you, on your life? What kind of an effect would that have on our