Article 3 of 4-Part series
By Ed Rubenstein, Ph.D.,
In beginning Part 3 of this series, let’s review the four common misperceptions that participants routinely express in Open Heart Meditation and Open Heart for Everyone workshops:
1. I will get hurt if I open my heart.
2. If I open my heart, I won’t be able to say “no.” Others will take advantage of me.
3. I will pick up other people’s negative energy if my heart opens.
4. If my heart really opens, I may lose control of who I am.
It is important for us to realize that if we believe any of these misperceptions, then a part of us is guarding and inhibiting our willingness to experience the many benefits that come from living a heart-centered life. These limiting beliefs also impede our ability to properly access and experience our natural heart wisdom.
Opening our heart and living a heart-centered life is the key to a joyful and fulfilled existence as well as the key to experiencing our heart’s innate longing to feel profoundly safe and unconditionally loved.
Overcoming Misperception Number 3: I will NOt pick up other people’s negative energy if my heart opens.
Another fear people have is that if they allow their heart to open, they will pick up negativities from others within the environment. However, this is not the case. We do not pick up negative energy or absorb other people’s emotions when our heart is open.
An open heart is the safest place to be! Yet many of us continue to believe that opening our heart is a vulnerable and risky thing to do. From my experience teaching heart-centered workshops for many years now, not allowing our heart to properly open is very unsafe. Our minds are very tricky…and may have convinced us that it is important to stay in control and maintain a boundary or fortress around us. There may be an unconscious fear that if we let down our guard, we will get hurt or lose control.
We are actually most vulnerable when our heart is contracted
Misperception number three would have us believe that we are most vulnerable when our heart is open, in fact, the opposite is true. The time we are most vulnerable is when our heart is contracted. Our mind may think it’s safer to live with defensive armor, yet this is when we are most susceptible to being negatively affected by our environment and the people around us. The risk of being influenced in this way occurs when we rely on our old ways, habits, and agendas because we are reactive rather than relying on the innate wisdom that can be accessed when our heart is open. So, in reality, living in a self-protective state makes us more susceptible to being hurt or living an isolated and disconnected life.
Opening our heart is like turning on a light in a dark room
We have all experienced what happens in a dark room when we turn on the light—the darkness disappears. Opening our heart and living a heart-centered life is like turning on the light in a room that is not well lit. Once the light is shining, everything becomes clearer and you can see where you’re going without bumping into things. Our open heart becomes a grounded connection, our innate guide, for our authentic and genuine self to awaken. So, we are clearly more protected having an open heart than a contracted, defensively armored one.
Having taught Open Heart Meditation and Open Heart for Everyone workshops for many years, I am sure you will find that opening your heart and allowing your life to be guided by your heart’s innate wisdom will lead to a positive transformation with many benefits. You will be naturally guided by your heart to make better life choices and directly experience an enhanced sense of well-being that flows from that.
Read Part 4: If my heart really opens, will I lose control of who I am?