How to Live in the Light of the Heart at This Holiday Time
Last week, we looked at what it means to go from the head to the heart. How has that process been going for you? Inspiring, vulnerable, tender? Give yourself room to embrace it all. Fears that seem real now will soften and dissipate as you practice patience and gentleness.
Your heart is the great alchemist. It transforms base emotions and thoughts into the light of compassion. It allows you to understand, as no intellect can, the source behind the painful parts of your life where you feel stuck.
During this holiday season with its calls to buy and indulge, we have an opportunity for inner peace, grounded in the heart’s wisdom. As we open to the moment with more intimacy, we may find at the root of suffering our common human tendency for wanting. It leaves our world in pain and has kept us looking for peace in all the wrong places.
It can often feel as though the things we want—be they people, things or ideals—are always out of reach, no matter how hard we try. This is because wanting comes from a place within us that feels broken and separate from the universe. Wanting is not the same as a heart’s desire, which feels connected and brings fullness and joy. Wanting is more like a perpetual sense of unease, lack or even pain.
Reconnecting with peace means understanding that our feeling of “not enough”, that drives wanting, is an illusion. In truth, we are always within a loving universe. With openness, readiness and willingness, and in the light of the heart, we can see more clearly and find greater freedom from the pain of wanting.
The Power to Choose Inner Peace
Wanting has momentum. We have probably given it our energy for some time. Our habits keep us moving in a certain direction, while we go along in auto-pilot. Here are some typical examples of wanting: shopping beyond what we can afford; compulsively checking our phones to see, ultimately, if we are loved; having a hot temper; being judgmental; feeling the need for approval to validate our self-worth; getting involved in unhealthy relationships; or acting in ways that harm others and the planet. At first, it can take willpower to redirect from these tendencies. However, we cannot simply “white-knuckle” this process, because we cannot just force ourselves to not want. That in itself is wanting. The choice to let go of wanting does not come from wilfulness, but from understanding, anchored in the heart.
In mindful presence and compassionate understanding, we can see that our painful habits do not support us or the world, and that we do not need them. Then the choice to let them go becomes easier. Eventually we realize that choosing inner peace is much easier than going along with wanting. It was actually our painful habits, rooted in wanting, that took so much energy to maintain.
Inquire for Inner Peace
Between now and next week, please consider the following:
• Since I first considered the issue of wanting a few weeks back, how has my understanding of it deepened?
• How is wanting active in my life?
• Am I willing to be present in my heart to witness my tendencies of wanting?
• When I do so, what do I feel? What do I see?
• In which ways have I wanted people, places and things to bring me peace, instead of lighting the light of my own inner peace sanctuary?
• Is that beginning to change now? In which ways? How can I support that transformation more fully?
From my heart to yours,