Because of a piece I have been writing for a workshop, I have been thinking about the importance of having an open heart if we want to heal and help others heal too. Only very recently I found myself in a downward spiral emotionally, a spiral not unfamiliar to me.  I have suffered from chronic depression for much of my life.  I am happy to say I have received help for it, but I can still wander into the shadowy places if I turn away from the people and experiences God has sent to help me grow.

What makes me withdraw, emotionally, remains a mystery but every few months I do and then I have to remember all over again how the spiritual life works.  I have to remember that there are no coincidences.  I have to remember that God is as close as my very breath.  I have to remember that allowing the wall that I erected between me and others to come down, will entirely change my perspective of what life means.  I have to remember that I am seeing Spirit or the ego every time I look into the eyes of some one else.  And I have to remember that the choice of what I see is being made by me, my Spirit or my ego, moment by moment.  Putting ourselves in charge of our own healing and our willingness to help others heal too is empowering, but more than that, it’s an affirmation of the spiritual principles we have discerned from the “teachers” we walk among.

Opening one’s heart to a friend or a stranger is evidence that we are fulfilling the purpose for which we live.  It’s not to write lofty books or give erudite lectures or make great scientific discoveries that we live, although all of those accomplishments may be worthy.  But we live to help one another live more peacefully. It takes an open and willing heart to do that. The choice is ours.