Cleansing the Heart
Contributor: Saffron & Sage
Photographer: Sarah Shreves
The heart...such a powerful muscle yet also the most frail. From an anatomical standpoint, the heart is an amazing machine. Through its intricate structures of inner pipes, it pumps blood for survival. And yet, despite its power and strength, the heart is also the easiest to break.
For the sensitive kind, it doesn't take much to test the heart's frailty. At times, all it takes is a single unkind word to fill the heart with pain. In some cases though, the wound may be deeper. Betrayal tends to shatter it, and in some, to a point beyond repair.
This is the very reason why we need to make it a habit to cleanse the heart. All the pain, betrayal and grudge—which may fill our hearts at one point in our lives because we are bound to get hurt and to hurt others—need to be purged. We often get burdened by them, and like plaque that clogs the heart, negativity can also weigh us down.
When we hold on to negative thoughts and feelings, the heart knows. Every pain makes it harder for the heart to feel joy. Every betrayal leaves the heart broken, unable to trust and see the good in others.
There is nothing more sad than living with a burdened heart. It is no different from being alive yet devoid of feelings. The heart may physically function to keep us alive, but if it is cold and frozen with pain, we are empty shells.
Let us, for a moment, pause and look back at the things that weigh our hearts down. Is it the painful criticism by a family member that left our heart closed to the idea of reconciliation? Is it the betrayal by a loved one that turned us pessimistic toward the possibility of loving again? Whatever it is, let us look inward. The heart, unless it is cleansed of fear and hatred, can never function with love.
Meditate to hear the heart’s whispers. It can guide you to learn to live life without the burden of pain. Above all, learn to forgive. Forgiveness is like water, it takes no shape, form or conditions. It simply gushes through uncleaned pipes to rid the heart of whatever painful debris that we may have decided to cling on through years of deep grudge or desire for revenge.
Ultimately, the beauty of a cleansed heart is its ability to see. To borrow the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
What has been weighing heavy in you? What old hurts have you been holding onto that may be causing your heart to bleed of pain, disillusion, mistrust and anger every day? Can you still search within your heart the faces and names of those that have caused you sorrow? If so, it's time to free oneself of the pain. Every day is a chance to cleanse the heart—make today that day.