Today's blog is going to be a little different than the rest of our chakra series for the simple reason that I am human. I am a work in progress on this amazing journey of healing and balance just like you are. I've discovered in attempting to write this that it is exceedingly difficult to produce an inspirational piece of work while I'm in the process of wading through the muck of a heart chakra that hasn't worked right since I was a child. I had an amazing tarot reading done by one of the In One's Element team members this week hoping to gain some insight on this journey of mine. She told me that I needed to make peace with the masculinity and embrace my femininity. Very fitting given this place I have ventured in to; taking the time to analyze these words...terrifying.
You see, I wear anger as a shield. Anger is my go to, trusted friend to keep me safe. Anger is far easier to suppress than any of the other emotions out there. I can do anger. Anger is safe; anger is easy. Anger keeps me disconnected. Why anger? Because anger is the opposite of love. Love is the very essence of femininity; love creates and if women don't create, well then I don't know what we do. Love is found in the masculine, as well, but it is so different. True love (and I'm not talking strictly the romantic kind) is scary! It means opening yourself up to being hurt in ways that can shatter you. I've been hurt in more ways than I care to recall; in ways I thought I would never survive. Love requires compassion. It means putting forth energy to be kind even if you don't have the energy left in you to do it. It's opening yourself up to disappointment, feeling other people's pain, and living a life that embraces fully the good and the bad. It's never letting go of who you are at the core and still being able to show empathy to those around you. Love is, and always will be, the sole great power that we as humans and spiritual beings have because from love comes everything else. And damn that is scary! All these things aren't just an outward push of energy to others, either; it's towards yourself as well.
I look at my oldest when she isn't looking because I aspire to be more like her. I've watched her heal hearts just by being alive. The love that spills out of this little girl...it's a glow that emanates from every pour of her being. Her heart chakra is strong, oh so strong. It's beautiful and radiant. Her love does battle with my anger every day. And that's not how it should be. It makes me angry. The reality, though, is that behind that mask of anger is a bone deep sadness that is just too hard to bare. So I choose anger. It certainly isn't right, and it most definitely is not how I want to live my life. I want to emanate the power that is love, just like she does. I am a work in progress. Every day I try to choose and be better than I was the day before.
Healing is a choice; a choice made from a place of love. Anahata, the Sanskrit word for the heart chakra, means unhurt or unbeaten. Maintaining balance requires feeling the hurts that life can throw at you, processing those feelings and then literally letting them go. It is keeping your heart full of compassion even towards those who have wronged you. It's also understanding that love means setting boundaries. Sometimes, love is better done from a distance for all parties involved. These are not easy things to accomplish!
Even as I sit here writing this, meditating on this knowledge that I know to be true, my body yells, "Hey! Wait a minute here! You are protected right now. Turn all that off and you're just going to get burned again." Letting go of the anger...that is a very scary, very uncomfortable thing to do. But here's the thing: I'm tired of being a walking poster child for an unbalanced heart chakra. It 100%, hands down, sucks the joy right out of life. Yes, it's a powerful shield and it has served it's purpose along the way. But I no longer need it. It has simply become habit. It's a habit that blocks true joy and passion in life, though.
I have learned along the way that imbalances of the heart chakra have such a wide range of "symptoms" that it can boggle the mind. All of these can fit pretty tidily into some base categories, though.
Being defensive: Anger, deflection, pointing the finger, anything that allows a person to not take the blame for a situation can fall into this category.
Jealousy: Feelings of entitlement, wanting what you can't have, lashing out when you don't get your way. Green with envy isn't just a phrase. It's a direct correlation to a blocked a heart chakra.
Closed down: Being unable to feel anything, let anyone get close, or a total disconnect from life itself. People who are closed down typically have a severe fear of intimacy leading to difficulty developing and/or keep relationships.
Not being able to forgive: "Why should I forgive so and so when they didn't even apologize?" Holding grudges, being overly-critical, blowing accidents out of proportion, or continuing to harbor animosity despite an apology breed resentment.
Co-dependency: In this category, we see behaviors such as relying on other's approval, being unable to make your own decisions, changing beliefs based on who you are with at the time, and basing emotions on what the other person is feeling.
Victimization: Let me start by saying that "playing the victim" and being a victim are two very different things. As a survivor of sexual and physical abuse, I know what it means to be a victim. There is a time when processing the emotions of being victimized are required and very necessary. The leap from victim to survivor is a war; one that once won, is a badge of honor. Being a survivor is no easy title to achieve. Being victimized is someone singling a person out for unjust or cruel treatment. Playing the victim is an inward reflection, with an outward blame, of perceived wrongs, or the refusal to move forward because of things done to you, albeit it being subconscious. Playing the victim comes from intentionally ignoring actionable steps that can move you in a better direction. Some steps might feel incredibly scary and overwhelming, but the options still exist.
Life gives us many ups and downs, some worse than others. At times, it can feel like you just want this life to be over because it's more bad than good. Our paths might be fraught with adversity, but they aren't supposed to feel like hell. Joy can be found in so many little things on a daily basis if we only allow ourselves to feel that love. The smile of a baby, the colors of a sunset, the smell of the mountains...there is joy to be found every single day. When the heart chakra is open and balanced, it is easy to find these joys. It is easy to feel love, compassion, have patience, and simply enjoy being. Intimate connections are made freely, the connection between this plane and our higher selves are easily accessible. The heart chakra is centered in our system, not because it is the most important, but because it connects us to the reality below with the gloriousness of what is above.
I might still be fighting my demons, but I know who I want to be. It's hard and uncomfortable right now, but every reiki session, every meditation, every song, laugh, kiss, hug, breath of air, brings with it more and more freedom from the stone that used to be my heart chakra. We want to hear your stories, the good and the bad, because our stories are meant to be shared. We are meant to lift each other up, unifying our villages, loving one another. There is always love even in the midst of anger.