Sunday, February 2, 2014

Open Your Heart to the Power of Love


“Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all things.”
- Unknown


It is February. If you are like me, I find this month challenging because it is about this time when I am getting tired of the cold and shorter days. And we have at least another month of cold and snowy weather to come. Yet, it is at this time when we have a holiday to celebrate love; and which warms our hearts. Even though warmth is not in the air yet, celebrating who we love is.

I’d like to share a true story about the power of love and its ability to warm our hearts and help us to move gracefully through the rest of winter.

There is a man who was married for just a few years who was getting to know his wife’s family and was becoming closer to them. This man came from a very different family from his wife’s. In his family, no one spoke about their feelings, his siblings were not close, and if his father told him he would be there, he the son, never knew if his father would show up or when he would show up.

His wife’s family came from more money, they spoke their feelings out loud, and when someone said they would do something, they would. In addition, her father was a warm and available man; probably on the other end of the spectrum.

When this man was a little boy, his mother worked to help support his family, and his father, although he worked, drank away a lot of what he brought in. Because of his drinking, his dad was unreliable. Family or father and son time was the son being with his father at a bar while his father drank and commiserated with his mates. His father was a World War II veteran, and one of the only survivors from a ship that had capsized after a losing battle. In life with survivor mentality, he drowned himself a different way; in an ocean of alcohol.

As he felt closer to his wife’s family, he felt his heart opening in a new way. He didn’t realize how his heart had closed down until he felt it start to open. His marriage didn’t survive, but his heart was forever touched by his relationship with his father in law. He had written him a letter expressing how he felt his heart start to crack open after years of having it closed. In the letter he described how he had not considered his father a father to his heart and soul for years. He had closed it down to his father many years before. He didn’t know if it would ever open again, and then he got to know this man. He realized how afraid he was, and yet felt he could truly call his father in law, his father; and the father of his heart. He gifted him with an artistic rendering of a horse’s head; the mane flowing wild and free as a symbol of what he had done for him in his life, and the strength and freedom he was beginning to feel because of him.

I had the gift of reading this touching letter. It moved me to the point of tears. So much is possible with the power of love in our lives and in our selves. How many of us have shut down our hearts for so many reasons? How many of us have taken the chance and learned to open our hearts and love again?  It is never too late to learn to love and to open our hearts. When we do, anything is possible.


Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results


As we grow up most of us slowly shut down parts of us, without meaning to. The hurts accumulate unless we can learn how to work with them instead of shutting them out, or shutting down in some way.

I recommend taking out your journal materials and either first thing in the morning, or just before bed, taking a few minutes and writing down where you have shut yourself down in some way, how it affects you, physically as well as psychically, and when you began to shut down.

Take a look at what was going on in your life when you slowly or quickly closed down parts of yourself. 

In this exercise, just learn and pay attention: we are just looking to shed light on what happened to us, and what our responses were to the happenings. Did we close our hearts a bit or more, did we walk away from something or someone, did we shut down emotionally, do we have physical manifestations of the shut downs like stomach aches, head aches, back pain, etc?

Do this exercise for two weeks, and then read back through your journaling to see how your thoughts and feelings have progressed. Again, we are just looking here to learn more about ourselves.

If you feel like dropping me a line to share what you have learned, please do. I love to hear from you. It is possible to open again; our hearts are powerful tools and opening them, even a little, allow more room for wholeness, health and vitality.