Open Your Heart

burning heart on hands.It is never an open heart that hurts. It is always a closed one.

It is when we meet someone whose heart is closed us to us and we in turn close ours, that it hurts.

It is when we close our hearts to the world because love is taken away from us, that suffering begins.

Keeping our heart open is never painful. Closing it always is.

With practice we can learn to keep our heart open even when we experience loss or meet someone whose heart is closed to us.

It is when we choose love instead of fear that our situation will transform, our suffering will end and miracles will occur naturally as expressions of love.

A miracle is merely the translation of denial into truth. 

Because only love is real.

(This post is largely inspired by the works of Marianne Williamson. Direct quotes from A Course in Miracles in italics).

Are you growing through what you are going through?

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Life presents you with all sorts of problems and difficulties. Situations don’t turn out the way you want them to, people let you down and things go pear-shaped. As much as these struggles, big or small, are an integral part of everybody’s life, it is pretty normal to feel that something has gone wrong somewhere. The unpleasant notion that you are experiencing something you shouldn’t be experiencing in an ideal world.

MuscularBlackManPushupsI like to think that just as physical strength is not built while chilling out on the sofa, mental and spiritual strength is not created while floating around on a pink cloud. We need problems to grow and learn. Without a problem there can never be a solution. Without resistance there can never be any release.

When you learn something in school you are probably learning it because you don’t already know it. You attend lessons and are given problems in the form of assignments and exercises to practice your new skills. Everyone accepts this as a natural way of learning. However, when life presents you with the same opportunities to grow, learn and refine your skill-set then the normal response is to freak out and see the whole situation as something undesired. Something must have gone wrong.

Not long ago a friend came to me with a relationship problem. She has struggled in the relationship department for a while, and had now found a partner who wasn’t giving her what she wanted. She could not get the validation she craved and was therefore considering ending the relationship as she felt that the guy was not worthy of her. Just like many of her well-meaning girlfriends had already assured her he wasn’t.

My first reaction when listening to her talking about her heartache, doubts and stress in her relationship was that life had decided to send her a lesson in the form of a man who was not feeding her insecurities. This is an opportunity for her to learn that no one can ever love you enough if you don’t love yourself, and an opportunity to learn that the validation of others should be completely irrelevant. Others can only make you feel bad if you give them the power to rule your world.

Some might say that this is a cold response that lacks empathy. Don’t get me wrong, I have been where she is and know how devastatingly painful it is to crave the attention of someone who is not giving it to you. However, it was only through going through this pain and refusing to see it as something that was going to get to me, I was able to realize that I alone am in charge of how I feel. I had to learn this if I am ever to have a healthy relationship with anyone, and the universe presented me with the perfect learning situation for this. At a time when I was ready.

vintage flowers backgroundLife’s lessons should not be seen as punishment, but rather the opposite. It means that you are ready to grow some more, that you have the chance to become something greater and stronger than you already are. Tackling problems with this attitude is empowerment on a new level. Don’t ever see yourself as a victim, because trust me, the rest of the world is not seeing you as a victim until you proclaim that you are one. And how do we proclaim this? By complaining about the unfairness of your miserable life, which through the law of attraction just makes sure there is a steady supply of gloom headed your way.

A Course in Miracles starts by saying that it is a required course, which I think is a great way of seeing life. I see life as a course and embrace the contrast that is headed my way, because it was attracted by the best in me to make me stronger than I was before.

I saw an inspirational quote in a gym once:

  • It doesn’t get easier. You just get better.

I think that sums up life pretty well. Take every opportunity to grow and don’t have a meltdown whenever the universe sends you a lesson you can learn from. And chill out! It’s not like any of us are getting out alive.

Growingly yours,

Kristian

 

PS! Just like when you fail something in school, the universe will keep sending you the same lesson over and over again until you get it. How many times you want to re-live the same problem depends on how eager you are to learn.

 

Unconditionally Yours

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Unconditional love. A beautiful concept, but what does it really mean?

It is really very simple: It means to love someone or something completely and utterly, regardless of how the beloved party acts, behaves, responds or otherwise treats you back.

This can be fairly easy to do towards recipients that are easy to love like a cat, a cupcake or a small child. The real test for most lies in unconditionally loving adult human beings, ourselves included, being that no one among us ever will be perfect in every way thinkable to us.

The ultimate challenge is to love one’s romantic partner unconditionally, especially in a society where separating is always a viable option. Many would claim to love their partner unconditionally but how many really, really mean it? How many will keep loving their partner after having been betrayed in the worst thinkable way? If you are not willing to forgive any action from your partner, then (I’m sorry to break it to you) your love for your partner is based on one or countless conditions, and is therefore not unconditional.

“Until we have seen someone’s darkness, we don’t really know who they are. Until we have forgiven someone’s darkness, we don’t really know what love is”Marianne Williamson.

Marianne Williamson sums it up beautifully here, I think. Every single person we meet is going to have sides that we are not too crazy about (or darkness, if you will) if we knew about them. Loving someone regardless of their dark sides is what I call unconditional love.

But doesn’t this mean that we would settle for less? Doesn’t this condone unacceptable behaviour? Wouldn’t forgiving betrayal set a poor standard for similar escapades in the future?

It could and it probably would if we were forgiving from a place of fear. Fear of not deserving a faithful partner, fear of being alone and fear of being abandoned. I am however not talking about forgiving someone for fear of these things. Forgiveness must come from a place of love, and more specifically love for yourself. You don’t forgive because someone else deserves it, you forgive because you deserve to be free of whatever was done to you.

LavenderFieldPinkSkyIt may sound paradoxical but loving unconditionally is the ultimate empowerment in the romantic department. Why? Because the other person has no power over your feelings for them. That power lies in you. You are the one who decides who and when to love. And when not to love. No one but you can and should be responsible for your happiness. When we humans realize that the complete power to decide our reactions rests within each and every one of us, that is when we find true freedom to be who we really are.

As a species we are diligently trained to react in very specific ways to a lot of specific things. And deviations from society’s norms are sadly not regarded as a sign of strength. If I hit you, then you should hit me back. Or at least yell, get pretty angry or possibly send someone in your place to reciprocate. If I say something nice to you, you are supposed to swell with joy or else you are arrogant. Who is really in charge in these situations? Well, it is certainly not you. I say, take your power back! Only when you decide if and how you want to react to other people and stop depending on default programming, only then will you be free of other people’s power over you.

To my future partner I want to say the following: My happiness does not depend on you, so you’re off the hook. I can never be happy because of you, but I will love to be happy together with you. Although I may not love what you are doing every moment of our time together, I will always try to see you as who you really are – not as you are in this moment. Quite frankly, I love you so much I don’t care what you think.

Terms and conditions do not apply.

Unconditionally Yours,

Kristian

Only the Lonely

According to the teachers, there is only one thing that all people possess equally. This is their loneliness. – Hyemeyohsts Storm

I read this a few days ago and it has been rolling around in my head ever since. Can this be true? Is really every single person on this planet lonely?

Having moved abroad alone twice and also being chronically single I am quite familiar with the concept of being on my own. And frankly, I am comfortable with it too. In spite of being alone a lot I cannot really remember having felt truly lonely. Or at least, I have never allowed myself that feeling. Being lonely in today’s world is something many consider sad, pathetic and even shameful. You can choose to be alone, but being lonely is something that happens to you. It victimizes you.

The fear of being alone is very real to many. The almost insane thought of going out to dinner alone is something that strikes fear in most people. In fact, just arriving 10 minutes before a friend in a café can be bad enough. What will people think?

I believe that regardless of how many people live in your household, how many dates you have during a week or how many friends you have on Facebook we are all alone. We cannot obliterate aloneness. But we can learn to accept it, deal with it and even cherish it.

I came alone to this planet and when the time comes I will leave alone too. Just like everybody else. Through accepting my separateness I can bridge gaps and create meaningful and healthy connections to other people by maintaining my own individuality and appreciating others for who they are. I will spend time with others, not because being alone is unbearable but because I love their company.

I think that the key to cherishing aloneness lies in appreciating yourself. Because let’s face it, you are never really alone. You is always with you, and having a good relationship with yourself can make the time you spend alone into quality time. Through loving and accepting yourself you will transform a desert of loneliness into a garden of solitude.

And finally, one of my favourite quotes on being alone by Marilyn Monroe:

It is better to be unhappy alone than unhappy with someone.

 

Yours In Loneliness,

Kristian