The Open Heart

Learning to have compassion for oneself is the first step in being able to accept others’ imperfections. Dawna Markova offers an inspiring look at the open heart, open to oneself, in her new book Wide Open:

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love. –Rumi

Befriending oneself sometimes involves opening your heart as a homeless shelter for all the exiled aspects of your being that you have been running from for years without even knowing that’s what you have been doing. Befriending yourself involves telling yourself the complete truth about everything and challenging the thinking that says horrible things will happen as a result. Is it really true that you will be rejected if you don’t respond to all the e-mails or phone calls you receive?

Ultimately, befriending yourself means finding the courage to become a refuge for whatever is most difficult for you to accept. Not courage as in blood and guts, but rather courage to root in one’s darkness and allow a sense of understanding to grow there.

Reconnecting with who you really are in this way is a stepping stone for understanding the experience of other people. It is how we grow compassion. Your pain begins to have meaning. When you allow your heart and mind to pay attention to each other in this way, silence becomes a loom on which your soul can weave the fabric of purpose into your life.

May your life be a mirror for the beauty you find in the world.

Adapted from Wide Open: On Living with Passion and Purpose, by Dawna Markova (Conari Press, 2008).

24 comments

Samir Nassir
Past Member 4 years ago

Wonderful speech , problem in the application.Thanks.

Julia R.
Julia R4 years ago

Great insights on learning to face your strengths and weaknesses and realizing that you can still like yourself even if you aren't perfect! And if you understand that this is true of others too, then you can forgive their imperfections too. The key is don't be too hard on yourself but try to improve those areas that you might feel deficient in and remember that our strengths can help us overcome our faults and they can help us find our true path in life and to realize the importance of having compassion for others too as we all struggle to overcome difficulties. Learning to love ourselves and not judging ourselves too harshly is critical to loving and having empathy for others!

Angela N.
Angela N4 years ago

thanks :)

Heidi R.
Past Member 4 years ago

Nice. This is the basis of all faith. First love yourself then love your neighbor as yourself.

Susan A.
Susan A4 years ago

Love the Rumi quote...one of my favorites!!

Noreen Niamath
Noreen Niamath4 years ago

The picture is very efffective...it pulls you right in.

Sue H.
Sue H4 years ago

Thanks for the insights.

Sue H.
Sue H4 years ago

Thanks for the insights.

peggy p.
peggy p4 years ago

love all

Emily Drew
Emily Drew5 years ago

thanks