The Awakening of the Heart to Love

By Alexander Bell
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It is the primary nature of our heart to be caring and to be giving, and we all know the deep importance of both.

If we stop caring, the heart starts to wither and grow cold. Life loses its depth, it’s light and beauty. If we stop giving, we begin to isolate ourselves on an island built of our own personal desires, and self-gratification begins to take a grip on our life, as we forget the deep fulfilment that comes from freely giving our time and energy to those around us who are in need of help. 

For example, do parents care for and help their children because it is a well paid job? No, they do it because there is a bond of love between them. They simple care deeply in their heart for the well-being of their child, and to neglect this bond and this responsibility actually causes suffering for both. The child needs to be helped, and we need to be caring.

It is vital to our sense of humanity, and to our sense of purpose also. What really is the point in being here if no-one needs our help? Is it to just be a good consumer, to try and fill all the gaps inside with personal gratification of the senses? Everyone knows where this leads – a dead end, to a sense that life lacks any true meaning and purpose. Sadly, many people find themselves at this point, because society encourages the fulfilment of personal desires, mostly through consumerism. It tells us “you will be happy once you have everything you think you need.” 

Yet the opposite is true, and everyone knows this. True happiness does not come from accumulating, consuming or achieving. It comes from giving. Everyone knows this because everyone has a heart, and the heart’s basic nature is to give, to care for and to help others. When we do so, our heart is filled with a deeply rewarding sense of purpose, a sense of joy and fulfilment than cannot be experienced in any other way. 

So we are designed to care. And not just about our children, our partner, close family and friends, but about everything, and everyone. Does that sound like too much caring to you? This is compassion, and the truth is, when our compassion knows no boundaries our heart simply keeps expanding, our love grows stronger and stronger, along with our sense of freedom, joy and purpose also. As we allow the momentum of compassion to build up within us, we simply want to keep giving of ourselves because nothing us satisfies this deep need of the heart.

You see, our heart is not designed to only care for certain things and people, but not for others. It is the mind that makes such decisions, and imposes them upon the heart. Why does it do this? Because it is afraid. The mind wants to keep things under control – even the amount of love we feel – because as our love and compassion grow more, our ego disappears in direct proportion, and it is the ego which desires to maintain control of our lives. But it does this at the expense of our heart. The heart desires to be unlimited, unrestricted and selfless, because in truth, the self created by the ego is the prison that our hearts longs to be freed from.

The egoic ‘self’ is a separate self, a false self that simply makes us feel separate and isolated. It is very much a prison, constructed of limiting thoughts and fears, yet we feel secure within it because it repeatedly tells us “if you let go of being in control, something that you don’t want to happen might happen to you.”  

But this is merely the voice of fear, and it only creates the illusion of security. It does this by subconsciously creating a perceived threat “out-there” and then tells us what we need to do to avoid that threat; how to behave, how to present ourselves, where to go, what to do. The ego sees threat in every single situation; even social threat, where we are afraid of behaving the ‘wrong’ way, saying the ‘wrong’ thing, or not appearing to look the right way to others. As i said, it is prison made up of false ideas that we believe make us feel safer.

But where is the threat? From the perspective of the ego, it is absolutely everywhere (especially in other human beings), but from the perspective of the heart, there is no threat anywhere. As you can see, these are two very different realities, and they bring with them two completely different ways of feeling inside, and of relating with the world. Can you imagine relating to the world through a sense of total trust? You would feel completely free, there would be no perceived threat, no anxiety, no fear. You would feel 100% safe and supported to follow your heart, no matter where it led you, experiencing deep happiness and joy along the way. 

Our heart cares, and it cares deeply. If we felt completely secure, we would not spend our time satisfying personal wants and desires in an attempt to make our heart happy. It is the ego that does this, in an attempt to create greater feelings of security and inner-satisfaction. But the heart is only truly satisfied when it is giving, caring and helping others. This is simply it’s purpose. 

So as we devote more of our time and energy to helping people (without always thinking of payment) we experience a greater and greater sense of purpose and fulfilment within our heart. A far deeper sense of satisfaction is experienced that cannot be experienced in any other way. This is the joy of freely giving and caring, and we should never attach a price tag to this. This is what love is all about, and it needs to be unconditional if we are to experience the true freedom of our heart. As soon as the mind puts a limit or a condition on how far our Love can go, we lose our true freedom. Therefore we need to put our faith in our heart, in Love, and whole-heartedly trust it to lead us forward in our life, without the limiting interference of anxieties, doubts, fear of lack and worries about the future. Because to trust means to not engage with these negative mental tendencies when they arise in our mind. If we do, they simply create contraction within our heart and thus, contraction in our entire being. Instantly, our experiences of Love, happiness, and inner freedom disappear.

So it can be seen very clearly that it is not our purpose in life to contract; we are here to expand, because in expansion all restriction, limitation, separation and division disappear and we come to realise that life is a unified experience. We are not truly separate from anything or anyone because on the deeper level – which we perceive through our heart – a loving, intelligent and creative energy is responsible for and flows through all that exists. This is the unifying force of creation, and it can be perceived, witnessed and experienced from the perspective of our heart. It is a very natural perspective, because it is the only true perspective. 

From the perspective of the heart, we come to experience that separation does not truly exist in any realm of Reality; it is just a creation of the mind. Through increased awareness of this (which requires disciplines such as meditation and healthy living to be present in our lives), our awareness moves beyond our mind and re-establishes itself back in our heart. From here we can see that Love truly is the essence of Life. In fact, it is the very fabric of Reality. 

Love is the powerful energy force behind all of creation. It flows through every cell, every atom, and it is constantly calling us to come back home to our heart, so that we can see things clearly.

Human beings so easily get lost in personal desires and dreams of ambition and achievement. They get so tangled up in trying to prevent negative situations occurring in their lives (such as social rejection, poverty etc.) that the experience of Love gets forgotten and relegated to being just another ‘nice idea’ in the mind. 

So we have to remind ourselves of Love very regularly. The moment Love is fully remembered, we cannot believe we allowed ourselves to forget it again! We cannot believe that we allowed anything else to become more important. Because when Love is forgotten, Reality is forgotten. What is left is the empty shell of an unfulfilling dream, in which we blindly grope around for the light switch, so that we can wake up once more, and feel the fulfilment of full consciousness. 

This is why our life needs certain disciplines, to make it less likely that we fall asleep into unconsciousness of Love again. If we are to remain conscious of Love’s truth, we need to nourish ourselves lovingly with the things our body really needs: Plenty of oxygen from outdoor activity, pure water, simple and basic plant-based nutrition, and most importantly, a spiritual practice to prevent our mind from wandering into thought. 

Because more than anything else, it is the veil of thought that makes us blind to Love’s reality. We get lost so quickly, tangled up in the spiders web of thought and forgetting that further thought cannot free us from our struggles. This is why meditation is essential, because without it, how do we transcend thought? We may think we are transcending thought, but the mind is very tricky and very clever and will tell us we are just fine, even though we may be asleep. It will say “there’s nothing wrong with being asleep. It feels okay to me…” 

Yet where is the full depth of Love? It remains unconscious, we remain just on the surface, aware of only the tip of the iceberg of our being. We miss the beautiful depth of who we really are, and we will not know what we are really here to do. We actually have a purpose, a very important purpose, that only Love can reveal to us. 

Our mind may think it knows our purpose, but it cannot. Because our most primary purpose is to remain in a space of Love, and anything which regularly pulls us out of this space is not a part of our purpose. Children are a wonderful reminder of this. We may be lost in our ‘important’ work, staring at our computer screen while our children are desperately trying to get our attention, to connect with us from their innocent heart. But we say “Not now! I’m busy with some important work.” But what is truly important in that moment? Love. And our children are here to remind us of this. 

So, we may believe we have a very important purpose to be a healer, a therapist, or something similar. But if in any moment we forget the Reality of Love, we are of no great use to anybody! Because what everybody truly needs is to open their eyes to Reality. And this can only happen if we have the help of someone who is not also lost in the dream (or the nightmare, in some people’s cases). 

If you are also tangled up in the dream, who can you help to awaken? At this point, only your own awakening takes precedence. It must occur first, and everything you need to awaken will come into your path. It may take the form of frustration with something which you thought was ‘important’, which simply isn’t flowing or working out. It may be losing something that you felt was essential to your happiness. It may be illness. In truth, Love uses everything in our Life to wake us up from our dream. All that really matters is that we open our eyes… 

Alexander Bell

• Read more illuminating posts by Alex here

• Download Alex’s new book: “HOW TO LIVE IN LOVE

• Tune in to Alex’s beautiful Ambient Radio Station

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Thank you.

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About Alexander Bell

Awakened spiritual teacher, writer, composer and nutritionist. www.AlexanderBell.org
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