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Friday, September 12, 2014

Do I have an open heart?

I recently read part of interview with Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist. He says he is always being asked what he thinks happens after death, what Heaven will be like if there is one, or what God will say to each of us when we arrive, assuming we arrive there somehow in some form.

And he feels God will ask one simple question:

"Did you love with an open heart, each day?"

And your afterlife will be determined by that answer. Not that one is punished for not having an open heart, but one might need more work on this realm or another.

No matter what your religious beliefs, I thought this a great exercise for any of us-to ask this question. So I asked myself, am I living with an open heart each and every day?

I don't think I am. I'm really wondering if I am capable of it.

I think when I am painting, or creating, or working with the land or animals, riding my horse–I think I am walking with an open heart. Especially when I am painting, for sure. I was looking at this piece of art I did, called "A Brief Visit to Heaven" and I thought what a childlike heart I had to make that painting. I think I've never lost that child part of me, and I'm glad. But children are human too, prone to mischief, desires and selfishness.

I think the reason the question he put to people struck a chord with me is I was thinking with a bit of envy about someone. Someone I don't really like, a person I've never met but is all over the media and internet. And I wondered, if one is honest and knows they feel they don't like someone, is that living with a closed heart? If I looked at that same person with an open heart, would I like them, or would I empathize with them always, never taking the road of criticizing or judging them? If we live with an open heart, we see each individual blade of grass that comes our way. Is this possible? I barely can keep track of each beautiful feather I see falling from my chickens.

I very much respect Paulo Coelho, but I'm wondering if God asks anything, let alone this. Isn't he asking us stuff all the time, each day, by putting us in Nature, in front of beauty, and sometimes non beauty?

I do think I will keep this question with me, so that when I feel anger or resentment about someone, I will ask myself,

"Am I looking at this with an open heart?"