I wrote HeartHealth, my first book about love and vulnerability almost 20 years ago when my daughter was born in the interior highlands of Brazil. After long years of separation, that daughter is back in my life and I finally have a chance to give her the love that she deserves from me. Each of us has our vulnerabilities.
Dr. Brené Brown, in a Ted Talk presentation, speaks about something all of us need to ponder on from time to time. When we look deep, inside we find our heart sitting at the center of our being and that being is vulnerable. Most people are lost to this world of deep feelings, thinking as fast as they do there is less time to feel. I grew up in a rational world. It seemed to be rational in the United States but I also felt like a fish out of water there. I left in 1991. Now that we see how my generation has ruined things for future generations, we get to see how monstrous our rationality was.
Brown has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame and is now using her research to explore a concept that she calls “wholehearted living.” She poses the questions: How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough—that we are worthy of love, belonging and joy?
We are born excruciatingly vulnerable and when we leave our body and life behind at the end, we return to that same vulnerability. Cancer patients know of this vulnerability when they first get their diagnosis. Disease in general makes us more vulnerable and so do our most intimate human relationships.
However, we live in a world that avoids vulnerability, which is translated into an abhorrence of truth and that shows everywhere in our civilization. The heart is the truth of life and the connections we make with our hearts are the most precious things we have.
What I am doing at this time of great stress is getting into breathing more. Much more. Every time I can remember, I pay attention to something as simple as breathing in, out and holding, pausing after a long exhale. Believe me it helps quite a bit with the stress and even gives you a fighting chance against cancer.
The way is narrow and the path is steep in the 21st Century. Love is the only answer but it is something we need to do most strongly with our own inner circles. Groups of families (small communities of cooperation) will come back into fashion because of the deteriorating social, political and physical environment.
Perhaps the more astute of humanity will have the humility to go back to the drawing board and start with the basics necessary for love. Learning how to listen and resolve conflicts and working directly on our own egos in small group process is a good place to start but do not bet on anyone you know having enough humility to see the need for these things or understand, on a deep level, where we went wrong.
We are not a loving race so it will be a wonder if any of us survive in the end. That is profoundly sad to say but unfortunately it is true.
We have to be deaf, dumb, blind and totally cut off from the heart to not feel the great threats of our times. However, our walls of denial are greater than Jericho’s so the majority is not going to see it coming.
Dr. Barbara Fredrickson is Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Award-winning Director of the PEP Lab at the University of North Carolina. Her research reveals how micro-moments of love and other forms of positivity nourish your health, wisdom, and longevity.
“We tend to think of love and loved ones at the same time, and perhaps as even the same thing. When you take these to be only your circle of family and friends, you inadvertently limit opportunities for health, growth and well-being. You can experience micro-moments of connection and positivity with anyone — whether with your soul mate or a stranger. You can love far more, and far more often, than you thought.”
“We tend to think of emotions as private events, confined to one person’s mind and skin. Upgrading our view of love to Love 2.0 leaves that perspective behind. Evidence suggests that when you really "click" with someone else, a discernible yet momentary synchrony emerges between the two of you, as your gestures and biochemistries, even your respective neural firings, come to mirror one another in a pattern Dr. Frederickson calls "positivity resonance." Love is "a biological wave of good feeling and mutual care that rolls through two or more brains and bodies at once."
Twenty years ago, I wrote The Marriage of Souls, The Second Coming of Pure Love, and it was about the kind of love that Dr. Frederickson is talking about. The Marriage of Souls offers a nuclear way of relating to each other so we go beyond our obsessions with self and move toward synthesis and oneness. It offers a magical merger between beings because we enter a space where “we” and “others” become one. Thus this path in its full fruition conquers the ego, transcends that painful separate space that destroys us slowly with pain and disease. The Marriage of Souls is about creating heaven on earth together.
The Marriage of Souls is a pathway that bridges intimate,
personal and even romantic love with that kind of religious and spiritual
fire that leads us to the ultimate truth about reality and ourselves.
Because love is an awareness of being, especially the vulnerability of being
the love we find in the Marriage of Souls leads us into an
ever-deeper contact with our own being.
The mirror of Gods love is found in the love for many.
We learn this love when we open our hearts
and learn love in its many forms.
Each being offers us a unique opportunity to learn love.
The more beings we truly love the closer to God we become
for God loves all beings.
Can the heart promise to love only one person? Pure love is something that we radiate out freely. No one can control the light and radiation of the sun. The true heart radiates out a force that does not stop, does not rest at any one point. True love simply loves love.
To love one is a closed circle, it’s limits are too well defined.
To love two is more, our circle expands.
To love three is growth and from there,
there are no more limits.