Tiny Wisdom: Keeping Your Heart Open

“A person’s world is only as big as their heart.” -Tanya A. Moore

Last week, I wrote about John Robbins, who presented at Bonfire Heights. He and his son Ocean shared a number of stores about loving fully and unconditionally. Sitting in the audience at their presentation felt like participating in a massive, 45-minute group hug. They were just that openhearted–and the audience that receptive.

This got me thinking about my capacity for vulnerability. Though I write a lot about the benefits of being open, I’ve noticed I have a limit, so to speak–a point at which I inevitably shut down a little.

For example, if I’ve spent an afternoon baring my soul to someone or a group of people, I retreat into myself afterward, almost as if to regenerate after giving away so much of myself.

I’ve learned it’s healthy to spend time alone and turn within. But as a former hermit, I try to recognize patterns that lead me to shut people out, as this can create walls where they would otherwise be opportunities to give and receive love.

I suspect we all shut down from to time, particularly when we feel emotionally raw and exposed. But the minute we close ourselves off from other people may be two minutes before a life-changing connection or experience.

So I propose a challenge, for me and for you: keep your heart open a little longer than you’re tempted to today. Stay accessible, for even just a few minutes more than you ordinarily would. Keep engaging, even if you’ve shared a lot. Keep listening, even if you’ve heard a lot. Let yourself linger in that vulnerably open place.

Sometimes we learn and gain the most from the moments that are the most uncomfortable.

Photo by angrylambie1

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She started the site after struggling with depression, bulimia, c-PTSD, and toxic shame so she could recycle her former pain into something useful and inspire others do the same. She recently created the Breaking Barriers to Self-Care eCourse to help people overcome internal blocks to meeting their needs—so they can feel their best, be their best, and live their best possible life. If you’re ready to start thriving instead of merely surviving, you can learn more and get instant access here.

See a typo or inaccuracy? Please contact us so we can fix it!