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Why You Should Practice Living With an Open Heart (Even If It Hurts!)

Living with an open heart can hurt.. But it's worth it Living with an open heart can hurt.. But it's worth it

To be a just keep the change man, you have to practice living with an open heart, even if it hurts.

Living with an open heart means that you experience all experiences fully without denying anything. It is like looking fear in the eye – you stand up for yourself and take up the fight.

The weak man

The weak man will always try to deny his pain. Whether it’s emotional or physical, he will always try to think of anything but the pain.

When running, he will distract himself when it starts to hurt. When faced with criticism, he will try to move on, move around it, forget it or deny it. When a weak man loses something, or someone, he will suppress his feelings; his pain. He will look the other way and distract himself.

On the surface, this approach might look beneficial. Pain is bad, so it must be good not to feel it, no? If just it was so simple…

See, pain is a part of life. And when you reject pain, suppress it, deny it, you also reject, suppress and deny life. And on top of that, pain only grows in denial. So when you reject your pain, all you are actually doing is that you make it grow. And it will grow, grow until it eats you up.

A man living with a closed heart will die bit by bit, every single day.

What to do instead

The honest, courageous man, on the other hand, will face his pain. He will see it for what it is, and do with it what needs to be done: live with it.

He will be open to the world and to the people that love him, and his mind and spirit will be strong.

So try this the next time you are faced with something “bad”, like criticism: stand up for yourself. Breathe at all times to open up the front of your body. And listen.

The same thing applies to loss, whether its in love, death or anything that’s in between: take responsibility. Face the pain. Remain open. Whatever you do, you must remain open.

When you practice openness like this, you will start to see that pain and hurt is just as much a part of life as love and light.. You won’t ever get rid of your pain by denying it, so why not learn to live with it?

The funny thing is that there comes a time, where you will realize that the pain, your pain, is gone. It is just like fear: you won’t ever get rid of it before you face it and fight it.

The way to fight fear is to do what you are afraid of.

The way to fight pain is to live with it, with an open heart.

Always.

What do you think?
What’s your point of view when it comes to pain – is it best to just see it for what it is, or do you believe in denying or suppressing it? Is there a middle road? Let me know what you think in the comments.

By the way, I’m going to Sweden in an hour, I’ll be back in a few days. Take care guys!

16 thoughts on “Why You Should Practice Living With an Open Heart (Even If It Hurts!)

  1. Adam

    I find I really bottle things up, not just pain but all my emotions really.

    I’ve always sort of felt like keeping my worries and sadness to myself was the best way of doing things, the manly way, not to worry anyone else.

    but I’m starting to learn that letting people know how you feel really does reap benefits, not least a little sympathy from the female population!

    Reply
  2. Alex

    That’s right Adam ;-)

    It’s a typical thing to do as a man, and I also think it’s one of the reasons men deal with emotional problems related to (ex) giflfriends at a much higher degree than women do.

    Reply
  3. Victor

    I know personally that every time I have accepted my sadness of the moment, that I came through it feeling much better than if I had ignored it by watching tv shows online (which I do too much). I actually felt really good when I had lost my internet connection for a few days, as I had nothing to distract me from what I was feeling at the moment and I had to face it all. The next day, I felt like a new man. Just something to think about :)

    Reply
  4. Frank

    Hey Alex,

    in my opinion you mix up some of the truths with falsehood.
    On the one hand there’s the denial part of which taking responsibility is definately a progress. It’s when you see yourself no longer as a victim, but recognize your inner strength and actually see that you can have a smart proactive solution for your stimulus response. That’s COUARAGE. And then as your inner strength grows you recognize that all the fear, pride, anger etc is not coming from you, but rather is a reflection of your own ego in others.

    You see, an open heart is not about “stand[ing] up for yourself and tak[ing] up the fight” and “to fight fear is to do what you are afraid of”, but you will rather not be afraid anymore and there will be no need for BRAVERY. Because you ARE fearless.

    But anyway nice article it was just the definition that bothered me a bit. It’s right backing up and facing the pain is the first thing someone has to learn, or it will criple his life ;-)

    Reply
  5. Alex

    Hey Frank,

    I think I get what you’re saying here. You’re right, it’s just some of the definitions… But we’re generally saying the same thing.

    Thanks for pointing (and straightening) it out. Interesting blog, by the way.

    Reply
  6. Pingback: A Great Example About Acceptance and Willingness When it Comes to Pain - “Let Aunt Ida In” » Just Keep The Change

  7. Phil

    I am one of those guys who close myself off and don’t open up to anyone. I’m trying to change it, but it’s not easy after being closed for so many years. Any advice on how to just be more open with people?

    Reply
  8. Alex

    If you have been closed off for years, just take it slowly. Read some of the articles on here, and apply what you learn.

    Reply
  9. Brian

    Just stumbled on your website and thought i would check this article out.
    i just got dumped by a young lady cuz she just wanted to be “friends”. ok so im pretty heart broken right now. so ya .. pain.
    i really miss her and i want to call her or write her and tell her that.. but when i feel the urge to, something inside says “no…she dumped you, let her go, be a man, leave her alone”…. do you think that is running from my pain?… or is that facing it?… my mind is thinkin about so many things right now.

    Reply
  10. Alex

    I feel you Brian, I really do… The friend thing is a b*tch!

    I also think that you follow your instinct by not calling her. Stay strong man.

    Reply
  11. nick

    Wow, an open heart – probably the most important thing i’ve worked on achieving in all of my years. About 6 months ago, the girl i was with left me after a year and a half relationship, a year of which we lived together. We were in the midst of building our life, and then one day she was gone. Was it a great relationship? no. Could it have been great? i believe so. I saw the potential in it and that’s why i stuck around. The girl was sweet, but her depression came from a lack of living with an open heart. She closed herself off to the world. I truly believe she never healed from past relationships she was in before the one i had with her, father issues, etc etc… All bottled away and left to grow in the giant inner sea of denial. I empathized with her, and tried to understand her while continuing to share my experience on these issues and love her while we were together. Not to be her therapist, cause i wasn’t, and it wasn’t my responsibility, but i truly cared for this person. So yeah, that was my choice to be with this person. And then one day she left, and the hurt that it caused lasted several months – perhaps i’m still a little bit there now. Especially since she blacklisted me from her life. Even if i wanted to try to maintain some type of communication with her, it wouldn’t be possible – that’s how far she ran from whatever life she had when she was with me. It hurts to think that my emotional investment may have been greater, It hurts to think there’s resentments pointed in my direction so she can cope, but the truth is, living with an open heart has kept me from having to go in that direction with her. It’s kept me from having to run, it’s kept me from having to deny any single feeling i’ve had. I’m not a victim, I’m not angry or resentful. I’m a person who made a choice to be in a particular relationship that didn’t work out. I’ve spent my time since trying to do things to make other people happy – putting smiles on other people’s faces – whether it’s bringing a dvd over to a friend’s house that they really wanted to see – to any random gift of kindness that i could think of sending someone’s way – where i thought i might be of some use. In these times, living with an open heart has saved me. I’ve had my heart broken before, and it’s always taken me allowing myself to “go whatever i have to go through – right or wrong” to feel it out – in order to heal. Never shutting down emotionally – never denying – only feeling my feelings and letting myself go through whatever healing process necessary (even doing dumb stuff in retrospect like trying to wish her a merry christmas knowing it would never be replied to and putting myself out there for further rejection – oh well, i did it in an attempt to find closure. but it just wasn’t there.) living with an open heart only takes willingness and a little action – even if you dont know which action to take – sometimes you’ll make the wrong action with the right type of willingness and it’ll all work out ok anyway for ya.. it’ll lead you to the right road. So i don’t worry about making mistakes – i just remember the willingness part – and always giving love and allowing myself to receive it too. These things have always kept me alive, positive, and living with an open heart in the midst of life’s turmoil. It’s a better way. I don’t want to be a cold callused person, and I certainly want to be vulnerable to receive love in the future. This is the path.

    Writing this message is another form of my own healing, and if this message reaches someone else and helps their day, then even better.

    Thanks for the post, really enjoyed it.

    Nick

    Reply
  12. Kaiser

    Hello. This post gave me some strength. My grandmother died a few days ago, and its hardly been 48 hours post funeral. I feel like I am living in a vacuum. I’ve been having dreams of abortions. I don’t know where those come from or what they mean. But I think it stems from my depression.

    I know I have to go THROUGH these emotions, these crazy dreams, instead of trying to hop over them. And that is what I will do. I will experience each emotion, and learn from each emotion as I go. I can do this.

    Thank you so much, my friend.

    love and peace

    -Kaiser

    Reply