It takes commitment to live from your heart. It takes patience to come back to yourself, to believe in yourself, and to discern who you are. Awareness of yourself opens your feelings. Awareness of your feelings opens your heart.
Your emotions are a tremendous source of energy and strength.
Even the minor pains and anxieties flowing through you are opportunities to sense, touch, and be touched by your own heart when it is heavy with disappointment, loneliness, or fear. It takes heart to go into your own pain. But as you meet each emotion, you will know that what it offers is the real chance to move closer to love.
There is an emotion deeply connected to the heart of love.
That emotion is courage.
When you feel insecure, uncertain, or stuck in aversion or fear, you can learn to investigate the emotion by sinking into the very moment of it. Remaining in your uncertainty or fear—not knowing what is going to happen—builds a reservoir of courage.
The thing with fear is that you must do what you need to do even if it’s there. The courage comes when you are honest with your fear, when you allow yourself to notice it and keenly observe whatever’s there. This sense of truthfulness, perseverance, and inquiry into your emotional reality is courage.
When courage comes, everything else follows.
Choosing to go headlong into the unknown comes with its own dose of fear. But fear is natural. It’s human. Resisting your fear, however, creates even more fear.
On one hand, trying to control the next moment negates the possibility for growth, because growth cannot be pushed or restrained. It needs the freedom to happen naturally. On the other hand, allowing total openness and freedom without boundaries can create an atmosphere of uncertainty, which is often frightening. But this is what keeps you alert to yourself and your emotions.
It may take some time, maybe hours, even days to build emotional courage.
Your heart might start beating faster, but this means you are alive. Every fiber is alive. And if you keep on moving through your fears by following them to their roots, you may feel more boundless.
Then, no matter how new or strange your fears might be, they will gradually subside. Eventually, there will be no fear at all.
Find more on creating emotional courage in Bija’s book, Emotional Yoga: How the Body Can Heal the Mind (Simon & Schuster, 2002)
(Photo: BijaB – Sun Valley, Idaho)