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Yesterday, I had a conversation with a co-worker about living with an open heart. (Which birthed an entire conversation with myself about duality.More on that in a moment or two.) I related to my co-worker that my father had told me on several occasions that I “wore my heart on my sleeve.” Meaning that you could always tell how I felt about something by my emotional reactions. And it’s true. I did wear my heart on my sleeve and STILL DO.

I have tried for a very long time to break myself of that. Break myself…now there is an interesting turn of a phrase. Why would I want to “break” myself? (Which I think I have come very close to on occasion.) I have tried to keep my emotions hidden and have found myself totally unable to function. Frozen.  Sometimes, for days. That didn’t work for me.  So I let the emotions come, but then I hated myself for that.

As I have walked this spiritual path, in the past few years, I saw myself experiencing ecstatic highs, and a deep yearning for that “high” when I would find myself in a “low” place. Duality. Why does the world have to be both high and low? And I have fought. Fought duality. Loved myself when I was in the good place emotionally, and hated myself when I was in the bad place. Love. Hate. Good. Bad. Duality.

But here’s the thing….Life is change. Up. Down. Happy. Sad.  I can close myself off from all of it, and just not care. Or…I can live with an open heart and experience it all. I choose an open heart, which I will wear proudly on my sleeve. I WILL know joy and sorrow. Peace and anger.  I will embrace those lows, acknowledging that they are a part of me and I don’t have to hate them. They all pass. And I won’t apologize for that tender heart there on my sleeve.

Life is just too short to not love yourself fully….