I was told by my doctor recently that I needed Open Heart Surgery to replace a congenitally defective aortic valve. I have been through a decent amount medically but the words Open Heart Surgery definitely got my attention.
Now here comes Valentine’s Day 2015 with every other email, article or show talking about Open Heart this and Open Hearted that.
And, in the Open Deep and True way of being in the world, the Open refers to Mind, Body and maybe most of all – Heart.
So what is an Open Heart? And why is it so sought after? Big question. Probably no correct answer to that one.
Here is what I believe: The thing all of us really want in life is Love. Love comes from Connection. And the best way to connect is with the Heart.
To break it down even more, feel the difference between talking with a friend for an hour about the relative merits of plywood verses pressure treated lumber for wood working projects. OK? Now compare that to finally telling your grandmother how much she has meant to you in your life. That is the difference between connecting with the Brain and connecting with the Heart.
But it’s not that simple: In order to connect from the heart, one has to let themselves be vulnerable. Tom Monte describes it this way – When you love someone you agree to give them the potential to break your heart. In other words, I’ll open up to you knowing that it is risky and it might come back to hurt me. But I do it anyway because it’s the only way.
So some people avoid this risk of being hurt by not opening up their heart. They protect themselves at all costs. And in the act of protecting they have put up a barrier that keeps out all the love and also stops the flow of love from radiating out from their own heart.
So the same way I can’t have my valve fixed with out allowing the doctors to crack my chest open, men can’t truly experience maximum love unless they are willing to put down the shield and be vulnerable.