The heart is the very first organ to develop and starts to pump blood when a human embryo is only three weeks old. It sustains life in the body, beating between 60 to 100 times a minute until we die.

In all cultures the heart has meaning beyond its physical functions. It is accepted as the seat of all that is human and the place where we feel our emotions, with love holding a special significance. In fact, love and the heart are so closely connected that we draw a heart to signify love.

When asked to describe love, people commonly answer that love is accepting, understanding, sharing, being kind, respectful, giving, helpful, forgiving, and so on. These are all expressions of love.

But what exactly is love?

Love and happiness are inseparable

According to the age-old spiritual wisdom of Vedanta love is our innate nature; it is who we really are. What’s more, love is happiness.

Love and happiness are inseparable. Where there is love, there is happiness; where there is happiness, there is love.

You can never love without feeling happy, and what makes you happy, you love.

All people without exception—young or old, men or women, from all races, cultures, religions and countries, want to be happy. Have you stopped to ask why this is so? Why are we never happy with being unhappy?

This is because happiness is our true nature. In and through all our pursuits, we are ultimately seeking to rediscover our essential nature of happiness.

Fear and other negative emotions

Negative emotions such as shame, guilt, hatred, grief, anger, and fear cause us pain and sorrow which don’t reflect our true nature. That’s why we are averse to them and can’t wait to be rid of them and be happy.

All fear arises from the ego. As we feed into fear, it grows. Fear does not have to be based on real-life facts, we also have many irrational fears.

Fear is a great motivator for our everyday choices and actions. Fear of others separates us and makes us act selfishly, wanting to protect ourselves, our loved ones and all the things that we hold dear.

According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, the emotion of fear weakens us to the point where we can be manipulated and can get sick.

The path of the heart

To reclaim our power, we must look at life from a higher perspective. From the standpoint of spirituality, we are essentially spiritual beings. Our human experiences are meant to help us evolve and unfold our innate divine nature.

The way to reclaim our power is the path of the heart—the path of love.

This is the truth of who we really are. This is why loving, giving and receiving love make us so happy. We are expressing our real nature.

When we open our hearts and act prompted by love, our hearts expand, and we feel a great sense of peace and happiness. There’s no need to prove this. We know it is true in our own experience.

Opening the heart and expressing unconditional love breaks down barriers and expresses the ultimate truth that essentially, we are all ONE. It destroys fear and transforms all negativity to high, positive energy.

Here is a guided meditation to help you open your heart. Click here.

Gateway to peace

According to the Heartmath Institute, Even a few people radiating heart qualities to others and into the environment can elevate an interaction into an uplifting vibration and facilitate more connectedness, alignment and better outcomes.

And so, as we express loving heart qualities such as kindness, forgiveness, patience, and generosity, we will not only be uplifting our own lives but also helping to uplift the lives of others.

The heart is the gateway to peace and happiness. The more loving and peaceful heart energy we can send out into the world, the more effectively we can rise above fear and gain happiness.

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Manisha Melwani

Manisha Melwani is a teacher and the author of, "So You're a Spiritual Being–Now What?" She offers spiritual and wellness solutions for life and stress management. She teaches classes in personal growth, stress management and meditation. She is based in Richmond Hill and Markham, Ontario. Contact her for more information or to have her speak to your group or organization. She also offers private counselling sessions in person or on-line.
Manisha Melwani

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