The Heart: What’s Not to Love?

It’s popular, especially in spiritual circles, to talk about the heart. A lot. “It’s all about love in the heart.” “You just need to open your heart.” “Be in your heart.” And in truth, it would be hard to find a more obvious link to love than the heart.

And isn’t love, in the end, what walking a spiritual path is all about? We may all want to know the secret meaning of life. But we spend all our time looking for the secret to love. That’s why the most popular songs typically talk about love. Or more likely, about how love went wrong.

The Heart: What's not to love?

On the physical level, we know a ton about the heart. We know about its valves and ventricles, and how the heart works tirelessly to pump blood to the lungs where it exchanges oxygen for carbon dioxide. Most visits to a doctor’s office will involve a cold stethoscope on the chest at some point, to make sure the heart’s working right. Because having at least a reasonably good heart is non-negotiable.

Many people also know about the seven chakras that energetically support the human body. And one of them, the fourth chakra, sits directly over the heart. Given its central location, it’s easy to think of the heart chakra as the center of our being. It’s also easy to visualize the heart chakra blossoming like a flower when we open to feelings of love.

The heart, then, isn’t much of a mystery. Which is why we’re so comfortable with the idea of surrendering into it. “Sure,” the ego mind says, “I’ll be happy to let go and be in my heart.” 

But the real work—the work of becoming spiritual—actually asks us to surrender into the great unknown. We must let go and allow ourselves to be carried by what the Pathwork Guide calls our Higher Self. We must come to trust the divine within. And this, friends, requires a much bigger leap.

Taking the Next Step: Waking Up

Humanity is now ready to wake up. What does this mean? It means we must wake up from our blindness and ignorance where we are living as self-serving, ego-oriented individuals who have made gods out of our misguided ego selves. And then we must learn to live from a more deeply connected place inside ourselves.

Yes, we each have an ego. And yes, our ego has an important role to play. But by design, the ego only thrives when it becomes a servant to our greater good. To do otherwise—to lead our lives as though we’re the only ones that matter—is to shoot ourselves in our own foot. And that’s largely what we see happening all around us now.

In short, we are all being held hostage by the self-serving whims of high-powered egos. And if we keep going in this disharmonious direction, there is no good way out.

What needs to happen is that our own individual egos must learn to let go and align with our Higher Selves. When we do this—when we activate the love that lives at the center of our being—then all will be well. But not before then.

The Micro Is in the Macro

What exists in the bigger picture of the world at-large is nothing more than a collection of what exists in each person. So the micro—what’s happening inside each of us—rolls up to create the macro—what’s happening all around us.

Meaning, the thing that is standing in the way of living in a free and peaceful world is all our self-created prisons. And these prisons arise from the misguided nature of our Lower Selves, which is the part of each person that blocks our inner light.

By allowing our egos to run the show, and in turn let our Lower Selves run free, we are effectively allowing ourselves to collectively live from our prisons. In other words, we are allowing ourselves to be taken hostage by none other than our collective Lower Self. And it’s our own egos that are allowing this to happen.

But Who Can We Blame?

It may be convenient to blame the world’s leaders—including our politicians, our community leaders, the heads of churches, our corporate boards and the like—but they only exist because we, the people, make it so. And we, with our free will, each have the ability to make different choices that will affect the outcome of how we all live as communities.

For while we can each make a difference, we can’t do so by changing others. We can only do so by changing ourselves.

The way to makes changes in the world, then, starts within each one of us. We must pay attention to what’s happening in our own inner house. We must see what needs to be cleaned, repaired and restored. For if we don’t like the human beings we are, we’ll never like the world we live in.

Sorting Ourselves Out

To get us going in the right direction, it will help if we understand what we’re up against. For at the true center, or Higher Self, of each human soul there is a light. But for each of us, this light has become covered over with layers of darkness, or Lower Self. This is our own inner shadow that we’re each responsible for cleaning up and clearing away.

Here’s a brief look at these different layers:

Higher SelfLower SelfEgo Self
Is matureBehaves immaturelyPays attention and notices when we’re being immature. Then takes action to sort ourselves out.
Quiet, still, calm, patientLoud, brash, unkind, willful, withholdingPays attention and notices when we’re being hateful, spiteful or unruly. Then takes action to sort ourselves out.
Source of all wisdom, courage and loveUses hidden untruths to justify crueltyPays attention and notices our own negative behavior and attitudes. Then takes action to sort ourselves out.
Has a healthy Yes and a healthy No, and knows when to use which oneRebels, resists, defies, deniesPays attention and notices our destructiveness. Then takes action to sort ourselves out.
Can see all sides of everything, and comfortably holds oppositesIs one-sided and self-righteousness, using lies and half-truthsPays attention and notices when we insist on being “right.” Then takes action to sort ourselves out.
Lives in harmonyThrives on conflictPays attention and notices any conflict or disharmony in our lives. Then takes action to sort ourselves out.
Fluid, resilient, free flowingRigid, harsh and judgmentalPays attention and notices when we are stuck on a position or hard feeling. Then takes action to sort ourselves out.
Fights the good fightFollows the path of least resistancePays attention and notices when we are being lazy. Then makes an effort.

The part of ourselves that leads the charge to transform ourselves back to our light-filled selves is our ego. Which means our ego must first wake up and realize it has a job to do. Most notably, the ego must lead us in fighting the good fight, following the guidance that flows from the Higher Self.

But starting out, it’s hard to hear this guidance due to our inner obstacles. So we need to take in some helpful, truthful direction from outside ourselves, until we are able to discern our own inner Higher Self voice.

The Pathwork Guide has given us many rich, deep teachings to help us learn how to sort ourselves out. For make no mistake, the Lower Self does not give itself up easily. We will each have a fight on our hands. Which is why walking a spiritual path takes so much work.

But when we do this healing work, we free up our most precious gift: our own inner light. By doing this, we not only shine our unique ray of brilliance into the world, we’ll let God come more and more fully into our life. For our light is God’s light.

We’d rather trust our own false gods—namely, our ego—than trust the process of letting go.
We’d rather trust our own false gods—namely, our ego—than trust the process of letting go.

Letting Go and Letting God

One of my favorite teachings from the Pathwork Guide is about how to let go and let God.

“Letting go” means to let go of the limited ego, with its narrow understanding, its preconceived ideas and its demanding self-will. It means letting go of our suspicions and misconceptions, our fears and lack of trust. Moreover, it means letting go of the tightly held attitude that says, in so many words, “The only way I can be happy is if so-and-so does such-and-such. Life must go exactly according to my plan…

The ultimate aim of “letting God” is to activate God from our soul center. This is the innermost place of our being where God speaks to us if we’re willing to listen. But before we can reach this highest, most secure and blissful state, we may need to do some housecleaning. We may need to remove some obstacles and clear up dualistic confusions…

The key to creating an open energy system is letting go into trust. But we can’t get there is one giant step. We must lay down some intermediate links, without skipping steps along the way. These links will build a bridge to having genuine, positive expectations about life free from pressure, anxiety and doubt. We’ll develop a deep faith in a kind and caring universe where we can have the very best, in every possible way. What a valuable key.”

Pearls, Chapter 17: Discovering the Key to Letting Go & Letting God (listen to podcast)

So we don’t need to search for our heart, or even for love. Because we’ll uncover both when we discover and transform all the ways we don’t love. How and why are we blocking our own light? How and why do we close our own hearts? And how and why are we stopping the love that naturally flows from within, when we let it?

To find these answers, our egos need to wake up and learn the right way to let go. (Hint: Addictions are the wrong way of letting go.) And to do this, we must clear away our inner obstacles that stand in the way. For their faulty foundation is always untrustworthy.

So trust is the key we must each be working to find. For only when we learn to trust our deepest inner nature—our loving inner knowing—can we start to also trust each other. And then together, we can find the way forward that unlocks all our prison doors.

This the way that is deeper, higher and better than anything else.

–Jill Loree

Phoenesse: Find Your True You
Learn more in After the Ego

Read all Q&As from the Pathwork® Guide on The Guide Speaks, or get Keywords, a collection of Jill Loree’s favorite Q&As.