The Open Heart

¡Hola! Everybody…
It’s a little cool here in the north, but life is good…

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Joan Miro_ 005

Uncovering the Heart

What counts is to strip the soul naked. Painting or poetry is made as we make love; a total embrace, prudence thrown to the wind, nothing held back.

— Joan Miro

Uncovering the heart means exposing the very core of the self. For many of us, this is a scary move into unknown territory, though it is a part of our inner selves that we are uncovering. The heart symbolizes feeling and intuition. Though we may be fearful, the true danger is in the death, not the exploration, of the heart.

Sometimes our hearts remember, better than our analytical minds, the times and places of our deepest felt experiences. During times of crisis or personal breakdown, the heart insists on revealing itself to us; we are forced to pay attention. These are times of deep personal pain that most of us would rather avoid, because we fear that the load will be too much to bear — that it may be possible to feel too much.

Just as it is possible to close our eyes and not see the world around us, we can also close our hearts. We do so at a great price: we may choose to live in a world of flat surfaces, a clinically dry and angular world seemingly sterile until we peer under its surface.

To undress the heart is to reveal our inner history — a history forgotten or hidden. We may be paying a price for relegating powerful forces to the shadow world for it is there they hold greater power. One of the aims of depth psychotherapies is to help us rediscover our lost selves gradually and integrate them again into our whole personalities.

The language of the heart may seem illogical. But if we listen to it — really listen to it without losing our heads — we just might find the faintly shimmering message in it that what lies ahead is a new and better way of living. It is in this aspect that there is strength in living with a naked heart.

However, there is that fearful vulnerability also. We take a chance when we open to others. We can be hurt. We may ask ourselves if we are risking too much. Who wants to be open and vulnerable?

I have found that in my own life, some of the most rewarding examples of creativity have been those moments when my heart was uncovered, when I was able to emerge and address those unique yet universal experiences that bind us together in the human condition.

I have learned that the uncovered heart contains both vulnerability and strength. Its strength perhaps lies precisely in that ability to open itself to itself with an exquisite grace that invites the hearts of others to do so too.

My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…


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