Giving your heart whole (Creating a ‘high functioning’ heart)

Dear Integral Meditators,

In order to get the most out of life, you have to give yourself whole heartedly to it without holding back. But what happens when you give yourself whole heartedly to a person, a project or a cause, and you get hurt, abused, rejected or taken advantage of? This weeks article offers a few perspectives on how to keep giving your heart to life without worrying too much about getting it broken!

In the spirit of the high performance heart,

Toby

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Read on…


Giving your heart whole (Creating a ‘high functioning’ heart)

In order to get the most out of life, you have to give yourself whole heartedly to it without holding back. But what happens when you give yourself whole heartedly to a person, a project or a cause, and you get hurt, abused, rejected or taken advantage of?
Inevitably in life we get our heart wounded. People we trust turn out to be unreliable. Organizations that seem benevolent turn out to have a dark side. The reality we thought was there and that we gave our heart to turns out to be false. Sometimes it’s even malevolent, seemingly taking pleasure in the pain that we experience as a result of having our heart-felt feelings thrown back in our face. With experiences like this it is understandable that many of us become cautious, build up walls around ourselves, and wary of opening ourselves up. We’ve been hurt by opening our heart before, why take the chance of more pain by opening it again? In this article I want to offer a perspective on how to give your heart to someone or something in a way that makes continuing to give it both sustainable and enjoyable.

In romance and friendship – Giving your heart whole
One of the reasons that we get our hearts broken and wounded in love and friendship is because the heart that we are offering to the relationship is wounded and dysfunctional in the first place. If you come into a romance lonely, anxious and dysfunctional, then you are going to form a co-dependent relationship with the person. Consequently, if anything goes wrong, or they turn away from you, its going to place a wound in the already wounded or broken heart that you offered in the first place. This is going to feel really bad and take you a long time to recover from (if you even do recover properly).
The alternative to this is to do some work on yourself and your heart to make it a ‘high functioning, heart’. This means that you go into a relationship already feeling relatively whole, complete and happy within yourself. The relationship offers a further environment for you to express that already whole, complete and functional heart with another person. When you ‘give your heart’ to them, it is a whole, strong, robust heart, not a ‘heart of glass’. If the relationship then goes wrong in some way, or they behave badly, then you can simply take your heart back! Since you gave it whole, you can take it back whole. You didn’t give your heart to the person so they could ‘fix’ it, you gave it to them in celebration, in the spirit of fun, playfulness and possibility. If they were not able to reciprocate, then too bad for them, you just take your strong, whole, healthy heart back. You may feel a little disappointed or sad, but sadness can exist in a strong heart without breaking it.
In fact, if you have cultivated a high functioning heart, then giving it to someone is a kind of win-win scenario. If they reciprocate in kind, then you have a romance or friendship that can last you for a long time, even for life. But if it goes wrong, then you’ve had a good learning experience, no big harm done!
If you have a high-performance mountain bike, then you may like to take it out into the countryside and give it a thorough work-out, taking it through bumpy, muddy, wet and difficult terrain. Because it’s a good bike, its going to perform well, and you’re going to end up thinking ‘that was a great ride, I enjoyed that!’ Similarly, if you’ve invested and done the work in creating a ‘high performance heart’ then you are going to want to ‘put it through its paces’ and find things to test it against. You can ‘take it for a ride’, hit a few bumps and be pleased at how well it responds to genuine challenges.
In order to have a fulfilled life, giving your heart is really essential. But when you give it, give it whole, not broken. That way if you have to take it back, it’ll come back whole too!

© Toby Ouvry 2018, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website www.tobyouvry.com


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