"Open-hearted awareness builds on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to recognize, distinguish, and articulate our emotions. It's also the capacity for understanding and appreciating the emotions of others and the way they communicate with us. Open-hearted awareness does not have to defend against emotions. From open-hearted awareness, we're able to ‘be with’ emotions that formerly would have been overwhelming. From open-hearted awareness, we need not consider ourselves underdeveloped or weak if we go through what St. Teresa of Ávila called the ‘gift of tears.’
Even when we've awakened from ego-identification, we still need to unlearn and relearn about love. What we call love, or what we think is love, is often mixed with a lot of early personal conditioning, old belief systems, and emotional attachments. When the heart doesn't go out to look for love, but looks instead back to its source - the ground of Being - we can discover unconditional love as who we have always been. Then this new experience of love can become the foundation from which relationships are formed. A whole different emotional way of being and seeing gives rise to a new, vastly more compassionate and connected way of relating.
Open-hearted awareness, which is operating from our heart-mind, begins to include necessary judging functions of the mind, but leaves behind the fear, separation, and controlling anger that made us ‘judgmental.’ Our normal judging functions are transformed by open-hearted awareness into discernment and discriminating wisdom.
The judge, the critic, and the superego are not essential or rigidly fixed parts of the human psyche. As soon as we shift into open-hearted awareness, an immediate feeling of being nonjudgmental and more compassionate arises. We develop a more mature conscience, a sense of integrity, and an acceptance of what is, while having the capacity and motivation to change what needs to be changed.”
Loch Kelly. “Shift into Freedom. The Science and Practice of Open-hearted Awareness.” Sounds True, 2015.
Katie Hoffman "Circe" www.katiehoffman.com