The common phrase is profoundly true that a picture is worth a thousand words. Images are symbols of swirling emotions that portray a complex story. Because of their richness, I have a passion for studying them. I frequently ask people to draw an image that first comes to their mind when asked various questions. This work with imagery also guides my dreamwork.
Imagine the door to your heart.
What does it look like?
When I ask this question, very often the response is a drawing similar to this …
This image depicts what so many people do.
We have all been hurt, felt rejected, and literally slammed the door to our hearts and thrown away the key. The door is solidly shut, surrounded by bricks, with no knob to open it. And the door is closed for many reasons.
“Open your heart!”
It’s a phrase that we hear in sermons, songs, and poems … and so lovely the idea. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it?
Yet, we feel such slight when others close their hearts to us. So, we protect ourselves by pushing them out fast and hard.
But isn’t it ironic that we, in return, cast judgment on others for closing themselves to us?
Is it so easy to just throw open YOUR door?
I challenge you to try it.
Snap your fingers, and risk your heart to pain right now!
We try to force it
To keep the pain away, we believe that the solution is to force love.
Force her to love me, force myself to love him.
If I make myself look really good it will work. Maybe if I act just the right way …
If we just get married, then something magical will happen.
Surely THAT will work.
Force, force, force.
But this backfires,
and as a result the door closes even tighter.
How do you open the door to your heart?
When the thought of opening your heart feels like hot lava will rush in and burn you, would you believe it if someone told you that you should open it?
So how do you open a door that is barricaded shut?
Explore it. Feel it. Examine it.
Experience it being shut, just the way that it is now. Feel the etchings in the wood. Run your fingers over the cold hard stone that surrounds that door. What does it feel like to be inside of that compound in this very moment?
Does it feel safe? Safe from all the world … where no one can harm you?
Is there anyone to talk to?
Now ask yourself, “What do I believe will happen to me if I open it?”
Be honest. Be very specific.
Explore Your Fears
Now, that’s when you can begin to make some progress. Exploring your fears will, surprisingly, guide you to that place of openness.
This may sound contradictory, but sounds can be deceiving.
The fact is, you are actively holding your door closed right now for reasons which you may not be fully aware.
And, it is only you who can make the decision to open your heart, because you are the one who closed it in the first place.
You will open it when you truly want to. But for now, just explore …