Parting words from one of my wisest friends as I left for Bali, “open your heart, lead with it, be in your heart, this is what you need”.
I’ve been “in my head” so long, I could hardly contemplate what it means to open my heart. I’m kind, isn’t that enough? I mean, I try to be kind. Occasionally, I’m not. But it’s my intention… I’m a thinker, I think things through… seven different ways. I analyze every possible option and second guess every decision…. at least 4 times.
Except this, Bali was a move from the heart. It makes no sense in any way except the heart.
When I got here, I see what she meant. You can’t NOT open your heart in Bali. Mine just cracks wide open at least once a day. I’ll just be walking along, and smell the incense and see the most beautiful flower dropped on the sidewalk and something happens to my heart. It’s like a little quail egg in there with the most fragile shell, and the smallest move sometimes will shatter that shell and spill my heart out in the open. It usually ends up flowing out my eyes after it’s made my chest all warm and heavy. And there I am, a white tourist woman, walking down the hairpin corner in the grass with vines hanging down and touching my head, single file with my family, sobbing.
At least now that we’ve been here two weeks, the kids are used to it. They just hug me and keep walking. It was quite startling to them the first few times it happened.
You know, I used to be an “open heart” person. I spent my youth with a heart like one of those liquid filled pieces of chewing gum. You know the little squares of sweet, firm, gum that when put in your mouth explode with an oversweet syrup? Yea, like that. Only not so firm on the outside. I spent my youth crying tears of heartbreak, that no one liked me, that I stubbed my toe, that there wasn’t enough kindness in the world. I cried a LOT. And it wasn’t just crying, it was heartbreak every time.
So I guess, over the years, this shell grew and grew over that little bit of liquid goo in there. And I forgot what it felt like to let it spill out into the world. That although it hurts sometimes, there is goodness in it. There is truth in just being who you are and feeling how you feel without worry that others will judge you for it.
Here I am, vulnerable, open heart. Crying tears of joy every day. The little shell gets thinner and thinner as it cracks open each day. But it hurts less. The joy feels like white light from heaven, invading every pore of my body. And it is enough. I am enough. It is good.
This is what I want to teach my children, not to be tough and create a shell that covers all of your preciousness so it doesn’t get hurt. I want to be brave, and show them how to let it spill out. The joy is so intense, and yes, when heartbreak comes it will be intense too. But better to live a life of intensity and joy, then a safe, overthought life without it.
Create your sunshine life, by letting the goodness spill out. Figure out how to open your heart. It could change absolutely everything…