How to open your heart to others (even if you’ve been badly hurt in the past)

Don't be afraid to open your heart

We all too often think that we should protect ourselves from the possibility of getting hurt. Most of us have been hurt in the past and a common reaction to the pain of being hurt by someone else is to close off our hearts.

We mistakenly think that closing our hearts and guarding our feelings protect us from further pain. We mistakenly think it strengthens us and gives us control over what happens to us.

The problem is the opposite happens.

A closed heart = a closed life

When you close your heart, you close yourself off not only from the world, but also from yourself. A closed heart can leave life devoid of joy, love and compassion, and possibilities. It becomes a fearful heart. It actually attracts negative situations and people, it does not avert them.

There are, of course, certain people (and situations) you should protect yourself from, but not everyone you meet. A closed heart takes a lot of (negative) energy to maintain. It’s draining. You’re constantly on guard waiting trouble, waiting for someone to try to step on your toes. Your life becomes dictated by painful past events to the detriment of your present moments.

Plus a closed heart means you treat yourself with less love, trust and compassion too. You end up being incredibly hard on yourself.

A closed heart = negative energy

A closed heart has also soaked up the bad energy from the memories you replay over and over about the betrayal or rejection or pain inflicted upon you. You literally lock that pain inside your heart, thinking you are protecting yourself when really you are hurting yourself.

The only way to solve that problem – and let go of your pain – is to open your heart.

How to open your heart

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Never struggle to make someone love you

Never struggle to make someone love you - K.J. Hutchings

Never, ever struggle and strive to make someone love you.

If you have to force it, it’s not worth having. That sort of “love” is unlikely to last the long term and unlikely to do you any good in the meantime.

Bow out and find someone who sees your worth and knows without a doubt you are loveable, and wants to be with you.

And never forget to love yourself first. Self-love isn’t selfish!

Struggling to make someone fall in love with you is the quickest way to fall out of love with yourself.

Not all friendships last a lifetime

Not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime. Some are temporary gifts to enjoy for the moment, learn from and then say goodbye to. The end of any relationship always signals new beginnings and the opportunity to grow.

Not all friendships last a lifetime

If someone chooses to no longer have you as a friend, wish them well and let them go. Don’t brood or be bitter – life is full of endings and new beginnings. Focus your time and energy on people who want to be a part of your life as much as you want to be a part of theirs.