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Filling Up the Heart

September is the mind’s time. The heart-surge of spring’s enthusiasm is long gone; the body’s summer lazing time is over. Time to get back to work, to the serious business of earning a living, or learning stuff that will help us earn a living.

Even though the year is slowing down, our lives tend to speed up. So much to do, and our minds are so, so busy analyzing, selecting, organizing, categorizing, prioritizing all these gotta-get-it-done-before-snow-flies tasks and activities…

… but perhaps not enjoying them. Many of my clients tell me they don’t find this autumn flood of to-do’s at all fulfilling. Even though their minds are full to bursting with lists, names, dates, times, did-I-remember-to’s and can-l-fit-it-in’s, their hearts are surprisingly empty.

Often this emptiness is a signal that we’ve forgotten to check the back door of our heart. Oh, you didn’t know the heart had a back door? Indeed it does.

The heart’s front door is the one we use for our interactions with the world. Through this “public portal” we can pour out caring love, dispense compassion and encouragement, take in others’ “stuff” on occasion, and engage in two-way emotional connections—both pleasant and painful—with others. But if that’s the only open doorway to our heart space, it isn’t long before we’ve spent all the love, compassion, courage, and uplifting emotional resources in our personal heart account. Small wonder, then, that as life gets busier and busier, as more and more is asked of us, we begin to feel we’re operating from an emotional deficit: first exhausted, then burned out, and then… empty. Our heart’s public door begins to swing shut, and giving becomes a grim effort instead of a great pleasure. Resentment, overwhelm, anxiety, desperation and self-blame creep in and hook themselves to the walls of our heart space…

Unless we can find a way to refill our heart space, replenish our emotional resources and banish our unwanted inner guests, we will then be faced with a hard choice. Just possibly we can push that front door back open by sheer force of will, and try to keep on giving and caring and loving from an empty heart. More likely, though, as the finite resources of our personal heart space continue to dwindle, from sheer emotional exhaustion we will let that door slam shut altogether, leaving us locked in cold, arid isolation. Either way, we will find ourselves only half alive.

How can we fill that heart back up again before it’s too late? How can we make sure that front door stays open? How can we recover the love, joy, hope, enthusiasm we once knew?

That’s where the heart’s back door comes into play. Because, you see, there is a second door to the heart space. And this door opens to the Inside—to the Universal Source of all emotional bounty. When that portal swings wide, the heart automatically fills up and up and up with an unending, self-renewing supply of Love’s resources, beyond what any one heart could ever contain.

Where will we store it then, this full-to-bursting, overflowing heart’s treasure? We won’t. It will insist on pouring out through our re-opened front door in joyous abandon. And then our caring, leadership and support for those around us will spring from a fully Love-filled, fully resourced heart that rejoices in interacting with its world. The foot-dragging, dutiful “doing” spins back into the joyful dance of autumn’s rich fulfillment.

Want to open that back door, let the heart fill up and discover the results for yourself? On my new Meditations page you can do just that. There’s a guided meditation, “Opening the Heart’s Doors,” there for you in both script and audio form. Happy heart renewal!

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