Living in appreciation and gratitude can be one of the best ways to recognise our shared humanity, and to understand that the most powerful energy we have is love. Yet sometimes it’s all too easy to slip into love’s polar opposite emotion: fear.
I recently read a beautiful piece that sums this idea up perfectly:
“Every single free choice you ever undertake arises out of one of the only two possible thoughts there are – a thought of love, or a thought of fear.
Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards and harms.
Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares and heals.
Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends.
Every human thought, word or deed is based in one emotion or the other – and you have always have the choice about which of these to select.”
Our ability to love comes directly from the functioning of our heart chakra, the centre of compassion and emotion. When this chakra is balanced, we feel loving and connected to others, and are able to accept and forgive. But an out-of-balance heart chakra can heighten feelings of fear, manifesting as mistrust, loneliness, isolation or abandonment.
Physical symptoms of a imbalanced heart chakra include heart problems, often caused by a disconnection from the emotions, as well as lung cancers and pneumonia, which can be triggered by unresolved grief. Breast cancer can also be connected to an imbalance here, particularly among women who try to do too much for others, while denying or sacrificing their own needs.
In men, there can often be a disconnect between the lower chakras relating to sexuality, and the higher, emotion-based energy centres. Men can find it easier than women to dissociate sex from emotion – and this can sometimes lead to sexual behaviour that’s purely functional and physical, without any heart connection.
To help you re-balance, focus on connecting with your heart during masturbation. Solo sex can be an expression of self-love in its most physical form, so take as much time as you can to enjoy self-pleasuring, and focus on making love to your body while doing so. Self-love doesn’t need to be egotistical or narcissistic, and it’s actually the best basis for any solo or partner practice. And because sexual energy magnifies and intensifies existing emotions, think loving thoughts during these times and you’ll create more healthy and positive vibrations within your body.
Massage, hugs and affectionate touch can all be powerful ways to strengthen the heart and expand your capacity to love. You could also practice any of the breathing exercises outlined in previous columns, to help move energy up into and through this area.
We spend our lives learning how to love, both ourselves and others – and nourishing our heart chakras can be one of the most powerful ways available to step out of fear’s shadow and into love’s light.