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Fourth Chakra THE RIGHT TO LOVE AND BE LOVED
I send love to everyone I know. All hearts are open to receive my love. I am grateful for all the love I have and will receive.
How can I help you feel my love?
Fourth Chakra - The Right to Love and Be Loved The fourth chakra is known as the Heart Chakra because it is located in the center of the chest. This chakra deals with love, courage, and compassion. When it is open you are able to radiate love for yourself and express it unconditionally, and are not dependent on the love of others. In this center the higher spiritual chakras and the lower physical chakras integrate.
Our history of love started in the womb. As we grew up we learned how to give and receive love, and as a consequence some of us have built walls around our heart. Only through forgiveness and vulnerably can we courageously open our heart and use love as a healing tool, healing not only ourselves but also the world around us.
When a person becomes disconnected from their heart the fourth chakra shuts down. This often results in both low energy and shallow breathing. Throughout the ages we have heard many people expressing love as, “he/she took my breath away,” as well as in sorrow “when he/she broke up with me, it broke my heart and I stopped breathing.” Love, or the loss of it, can indeed take your breath away.
Spins Fast: In Excess, Congestion, Disharmony When the heart chakra spins too fast, or is too open (placing love above self-respect), the effects are characterized by distortions of loving relationships, and love becomes conditional or possessive. These distortions may also manifest in manipulative behavior, such as emotional withholding to “punish”, or a tendency to be overly dramatic. A fast-spinning fourth chakra can produce co-dependency, jealousy, an unrequited craving for connection, an inability to establish healthy boundaries, or failure to see when a relationship is abusive. Physically, you might have problems with the lungs, such as bronchial pneumonia, tuberculosis, asthma, lung cancer and breast cancer.
Spins Slow: Deficiency, Depletion, Disharmony A slow-spinning heart chakra acts like a wall preventing love from being allowed in, the effects of which can result in a lack of self-love, feelings of unworthiness, and a gloomy sense of self-pity. Generally rooted in a fear of rejection, when the heart chakra is deficient one is obsessed with ideas about loving too much, or unrealistic expectations like waiting for the knight in shining armor. Depletion in this energy center is characterized by attitudes of self-righteousness, blaming, judgment, and dwelling on the failures of past relationships. All those who are avoidance addicts, who isolate and are love anorexic, dwell here. Emotional states include being unforgiving, stuck in anger about a past betrayal, fear of intimacy, loneliness, depression, and grief. Physical manifestations of a malfunctioning heart chakra include heart conditions such as congestive heart failure, palpitations, high blood pressure, and all heart related challenges.
Balanced – Spins Harmoniously
Compassion and self-acceptance reign in the balanced heart chakras. Harmony in this chakra leads to the discovery of the desire for a spiritual experience in all relationships. A balanced fourth chakra yields an altruistic and empathic nature and generally an excellent immune system. In learning from the shadow aspects of the fast and slow-spinning fourth chakra, loving too much can be retooled as the ability to love deeply and profoundly. From needing and craving connection we can develop a strong sense of empathy as well as the ability to connect to a large number of people. Empathizing with the needs of others can be used to serve greater causes such as charities or the community as a whole. Co-dependency can be turned into interdependence. Even the avoidance addict or the person who isolates can discover the joy of his or her own company.
The Gatekeeper The fourth chakra represents your right to love and be loved. It is the doorway between the chakras of mind and spirit above, and the chakras of self, body, and the material world below. In this center dwells a gatekeeper, standing guard to the threshold of your heart. This figure could be a loving usher maintaining good boundaries and letting in true love or can be the guard that stands in the way of feeling loving, lovable and loved. It is the one that erects a protecting wall around your heart made up of all the beliefs that have been imprinted in your consciousness from the other eight chakras. These imprints come from all you have learned about love from your family/tribe/culture (first chakra), from the experiences with intimate love (second chakra), and from your feelings about yourself (third chakra). The gatekeeper is also influenced by all the things you have heard about love (fifth chakra), the images you have seen about love (sixth chakra), plus all of your personal experiences with love (seventh chakra). Lastly, it is influenced by your relationship with the Divine (eighth and nine chakras.)
The History of Love In utero, the baby’s needs are fulfilled instantly and automatically. Without asking, the child is constantly soothed by the rhythmic beat of his mother’s heart, fed by the placenta, healed by the mother’s immune system, and surrounded by a safe environment. This natural and metaphysical connection generates a primordial feeling. I am completely loved, I am completely lovable, and I am safe.
Once the baby is born parents cannot maintain the original feelings of total safety the child felt while on the womb. Laden by the inevitable circumstances of life - work, money, anxiety, sickness, etc. - parents don’t always understand the baby’s needs, nor can they anticipate or meet every demand. Every unmet need generates a degree of fear and pain, and the child defaults into immature coping mechanisms: screaming or crying to get attention, as well as withdrawing and becoming aloof, or turning into a people pleaser.
Research scientist Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., explains how a child learns behavioral patterns: “A child’s brain can download experiences at a super high rate of speed. From the moment a child is born through about the first six years of life, she is in a super-learning state. Children learn and assimilate from how we treat them and how we respond to each other.” As the baby learns the meaning of love given and received, they are exposed to ways in which love is commonly used by their parents. Sometimes, to restore harmony, the parents use love as a bargaining chip: “If you really loved mommy, you would not scream at her.” Love becomes a reward for good behavior: “What a good job you did…Daddy loves you so much.” It can be withheld in anger: “I am angry at you, you are a bad girl.” Love gets tinted with guilt: “You should love Grandma, look at all the presents she got you.” It gets religious undertones: “God loves those who obey Him.” It is given on a timetable: “Go on and watch some television, Daddy is busy right now.” Showing love in these ways can lead to children learning that love can be used to manipulate others, and that love can hurt and cannot be trusted.
Nonetheless, the loss of love is immediately forgotten each time the child is enveloped in the loving embrace of their mother or father. The sweet feeling of Divine love fills her, and she recalls its primordial origin, how she felt in the womb, and how all her needs were met instantly. But alas, another confusing exchange and love is once more questioned. The gatekeeper continues getting stronger, building walls of protection around her heart.
As we grow and let go of the familial embrace, we discover a new world—the world of our peers. When we start school and are surrounded by an unfamiliar group of people, we discover that their approval, or love, becomes instrumental to our happiness. In an effort to fit in and be accepted by the group, under peer pressure, we learn to love only those who are considered acceptable, right, and hip by our group. Concerned only with acceptance and validation, we fall for the cool guy in our school, only to find out (through dating or rejection) that we are completely incompatible. However, because our focus is still acceptance, we don’t change our ways. We are on the quest for someone who will reconnect us to the miraculous and unconditional love we experienced in the womb, and we continue our search outside ourselves. We need direction. Unfortunately, we have no guides in this quest as no one is teaching children about love or relationships. It is not part of the curriculum.
Straying away from our immediate world, we look further for clues about love in fairytales, myths, and the media. Here we are introduced to the impossible and rebellious love of Lancelot and Guinevere, Romeo and Juliet, and Leo and Kate (lovers on the Titanic). We listen to love through the words of love songs and learn that often love equals pain. All these tragedies suggest that true love means losing oneself for the sake of the other. So, we dream of the knight in shining armor to come and rescue us from the tower of loneliness. We look for a romantic, sensitive guy with perfect abs, an amazing smile and wit, just like the hero in the latest movie. We are on an impossible journey in hope, of finding the one. At this point, we have actually given a detailed description of the phantom person our gatekeeper can allow into our hearts. Yet, none appears to look like the ‘most wanted’ poster we provided our heart’s usher.
As we mature, we hear mentions that we must love ourselves first, before we can love another. But, no one bothers to give us the tools to do so. The fleeting memory of the original state of wholeness we felt in the womb lingers in our unconscious. We yearn for that heavenly love that can heal us, makes us feel safe, feeds us without being asked, and lulls us without being told. We continue to look outside ourselves for the solution. When we finally find whoever we think is the one, we experience sheer paradise. We notice every little thing they do, all the minuscule idiosyncrasies of their character, and we love each and every one of them. We stay up at night thinking about them, we talk for hours, opening our hearts like never before. We become sexier, happier, and more blissful than we have ever been.
Sadly, as time passes, we begin to notice things we had not noticed before. The shadow guarding our hearts is screaming at us, this person does not fit the requirements. It turns out our partners have qualities we can’t stand. We expect them to have psychic powers and know what we need or want, and to our surprise, they don’t. We demand they satisfy all of our needs, even if we don’t know what they are. This is not the unconditional love we have longed for. Where is the flawless human being that understands us, makes us feel safe, and offers the type of love we are unable to give or receive?
When it comes to love, we have become completely dependent on others, yet based on experiences, we no longer trust anyone to deliver the love we want. Once again, as we did when we were little, we default into immature coping mechanisms and we learn to operate in a codependent manner. Bargaining ensues: “I will behave this way, if you behave that way,” or, “I will show you my love if you show me yours.”
We manipulate others by placing blame, finding fault, or attempting to control the situation: “I know you love me, but I wish you told me more often, or in a more romantic way.” This translates as: “I am not sure you love me, because you aren’t saying the right words, or taking the right actions. Therefore, I can’t hear you.”
We attempt to buy our partner’s love by showering them with gifts and favors, disguising our manipulation as generosity and altruism. Some of us enmesh and lose ourselves in the relationship. We compromise our values and integrity; or we minimize, alter, and deny our feelings. There are those of us who need to control and offer advice without being asked only to become resentful when others refuse our help. Finally, we find gratification when someone cannot live or function without us. It appears that our self-worth has been validated and everything seems under control, but we are still unhappy. With one foot in the past we dwell upon what we wish the relationship was, and one in the future where we think about what it could be, we forget about what is and stand on precarious grounds - we are insecure. When all efforts fail to produce the desired unconditional and celestial sense of love we have dreamed about, we resign ourselves to believe unconditional love is a myth. We suppress our dream of the idyllic love and learn to cope with the occasional fighting and the feelings of loneliness we experience in our marriages or committed relationships. We will never be satisfied because we fail to appreciate what is.
Byron Katie, who wrote an amazing book called Loving What Is, inspires us with these words of wisdom: “The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is, is what we want.”
The Key to Opening Our Hearts When you are about to go on a new journey, be it a new career, learning a new sport, craft or art form you give yourself plenty of time to learn. You take courses, you practice, and as you get better you feel more confident, which results in greater success. Yet, it rarely occurs to us that entering a new relationship, one that might last a lifetime, requires spending as much time learning about love as it did learning how to ride a bike, write an essay, or play an instrument.
Often we hear our girlfriends complain that it is so hard to find a man who will commit to a relationship, but women also have a problem with commitment. In our case it is the commitment to ourselves. Our heart needs commitment from a loved one, but most importantly from our self. How often do we get into a relationship with someone simply because they seem to love us, regardless of how we feel about them? At times we stay with someone because we fear being alone, our procreation clock is ticking, or we feel this is the last train that will stop at our station. We have forgotten our heart. Our strategy for loving is colored with the stories of our past and the hurt we’ve suffered or brought upon ourselves. We linger on memories and resentments, unable to start anew with each and every relationship. In fact, we have armed the gatekeeper to our heart with all these resentments and memories.
The expression falling in love encompasses a truism. If we want to love and be loved we must allow ourselves to fall, which can be viewed as a metaphor for trust, without bounds. When we trust that each relationship brings a new lesson required for our growth, and that we have the tools to recover in case the fall ends up being a hurtful one, we begin to let down our walls We get to open our hearts and forgive ourselves and those who have hurt us. In fact, the key to opening our heart is forgiveness.
Forgiveness creates the space for love to rush in. For this purpose we can transform the gatekeeper of our heart into a celestial bodyguard, free of all preconceived notions, becoming our heart’s greatest ally. Actual forgiveness does not mean allowing someone who wronged you to forego his or her karmic debt, nor does it mean condoning or forgetting what was done. Forgiveness recognizes that the road to happiness lies in letting go of the hold that memory has on our reactions, our life, and our perception of self. Forgiving frees us from the perpetrator forever, and those memories no longer have a negative influence on future relationships. In reading A Course in Miracles, I learned that my righteous indignation toward what happened in the past conveniently made it seem that others were different from me, that I was good and they were evil. Other people’s interests appeared to be separate from and in competition with my own. In that paradigm, others seemed to be forever seeking happiness at my expense. However, when I looked at the perpetrators with forgiving eyes, I saw that their pain and unhappiness was as big, if not bigger than my own. Forgiveness shows us that we are all the same. We all have the same needs, the same desires, and the same pain. Forgiveness is a gift we give to ourselves, not to anyone else; it is something we can do even before we meet someone, so that we may start anew without bringing the past into our present.
Forgiveness is not about forgetting, it is about letting go. Resentment literally translates as experiencing a negative emotion repeatedly. Resentment is what takes away our serenity in the present moment while not changing the past. Once we can forgive those who have wronged us and let go of resentments the keeper of the gate will lower our walls and let the love and beauty in. Forgiving and letting go means we must become vulnerable.
“The strongest love is the love that can demonstrate its fragility.”
Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes
Culturally, the word vulnerable has been connected with the concept of weakness. Being vulnerable is usually associated with opening yourself up to being hurt emotionally and/or physically. . We avoid vulnerability to avoid rejection, but all the while we feel highly uncomfortable by trying to be someone we are not. When we hide who we really are, what we think, and how we feel we are in essence rejecting ourselves. Emotional vulnerability actually requires great courage and strength.
Chris Rock, in one of his stand up routines, says, “When you meet someone for the first time you are not really meeting them, you are meeting their representative.” Sometimes, we end up falling in love with this representative only to discover that the person we chose to love is someone different. We also send our representative out on a date in fear that if the person we just met finds out who we really are they surely would not be interested in us.
When we expose our core-self we take a leap of faith trusting that we are good enough and lovable -- as is. Vulnerability is the doorway to love and self-love, and gives us access to our inner strength. Dr Brene´ Brown, a professor and vulnerability researcher at the University of Houston says, “We emotionally ‘armor up’ each morning when we face the day to avoid feeling shame, anxiety, uncertainty, and fear. The particular armor changes from person to person, but it usually revolves around one of three methods: striving for perfection, numbing out, or disrupting joyful moments by ‘dress rehearsing tragedy’ and imagining all the ways that things could go wrong.”
Vulnerability is the experience and emotion we actually crave. We feel most loved when we are accepted for who we are and that can only happen if we show our vulnerable side. Self-protective armor, usually unconsciously erected at a young age, causes most of our adult suffering. Awareness of it is a big step toward freedom. Typically, when we are faced with something that is new and challenging, or that feels threatening to us, we unconsciously retreat behind a force field of self-protection, hiding behind the tall walls we have erected around our heart. Yet, it is the self-protection that creates far more suffering than that which we are afraid of!
Uncertainty and vulnerability are two characteristics we have fought hard to reject in the modern world. In the last two hundred years more women have entered the work force and had to take on the warrior archetype. As warriors we constantly battle and compete. In the business world, expressing one’s emotion is considered unprofessional and it is looked down upon as a sign of weakness. As a result, women have had to learn a new game - the game of hiding their feelings. Instead of relying on their instinct toward expansion and expression women have learned to withdraw and choose silence, or opt for aggression and defiance. In this model we come to believe that it is safer to build a wall preventing others from coming close and hurting us, or even worse, from dismissing us as weak and unpredictable.
In the game of the male-dominated workforce, women must look detached, in control, rational and poised. Vulnerability is a sin and women have come to assume a role that goes against their very nature. The constant battle against one’s nature and the countless diseases that follow have been the price women continue to pay in order to be perceived as powerful, independent, self-reliant, and successful.
Here is a typical modern scenario.
Jenny, unable to leave her masculine stance at work, brings her survival mechanisms home. Since multitasking is intrinsic in women’s nature she believes she is the only one who can get things done efficiently. Jenny thinks her man cannot handle taking care of a job, marriage, the house, and kids all at the same time. So, she takes on the role of superwoman juggling it all. As a result, she becomes bitter, angry, and condescending with her husband who she sees as an inferior person. Someone who wants it all, yet is incapable of managing any part of it, even if she was kind enough to let him. Jenny keeps volunteering to do all of the work herself. She can be controlling even when she seems to only be concerned with pleasing her family. She fears that if she lets them see her vulnerable side, they won’t like, or love, her. She lives on the offensive—attacking, blaming, or correcting others. This keeps the spotlight on others and off of her, once again putting up the armor that keeps people, and love, away.
To reclaim the fourth chakra and embrace love for the self and the world at large we get to let go of the warrior archetype and embrace the mother-nurturer archetype, surrendering to vulnerability along the way. Tuning into our feelings and learning to express them enables us to have a healthy perspective of our problems, our place, and ourselves. After a crisis, notice when the old armor starts to take over. Try to see what thoughts circulate in your mind just before you begin retreating into to your armored self. You will find that fear of what others might think, or of being exposed as not good enough, and ultimately being rejected is responsible for your retreat. You may feel anger, resentment, sadness, fear, or even terror. Try not to fix the fear.
Sit with those feelings and acknowledge them. If you are in a safe environment express them, then prepare yourself to be informed by them. Go through the feelings inventory exercise of the second chakra. Fall madly in love and be curious about who you are and what you need to feel loved and to love. If you do not retreat from your feelings and stay with the discomfort, keeping your attention on the energy/feeling, it will eventually transform into love. Everything reverts back to love eventually. Love for your family, love for your partner, but most importantly, love for yourself and this incredible world we live in.
Become one with the goddess and the mother/nurturer archetype. A goddess is the embodiment of the Divine in a female body. She acts with integrity while loving and nurturing. She lets go of anger, pain, fear, guilt, and judgment. She has no need to change anybody and she does not blame, for she sees the Divine in all beings. She has learned to love unconditionally and has no expectations. She encourages others and allows things to be what they are; welcoming other people’s efforts, she looks at everyone the way a mother looks at her child. She knows that life is a mystery, which cannot be conquered or understood. She embraces her sense of humor, especially towards herself, and feels compassion for all her little idiosyncrasies and human characteristics. She searches for and embraces her Divinity, knowing that change is inevitable and that the journey is as exhilarating as the end result. Sure this is a tall order, but it is what we strive to become, one day at the time. We strive for practice not perfection.
Mastering this journey will make you a living example. Becoming vulnerable will open you up to the heavens.
Using Love as a Healing Tool In studying hypnosis, I learned of a particular tribe in Africa that believes one way to cure illness is to concentrate on a part of your body that feels good, and then transfer the feeling to the part which is sick or injured. If you were to twist a wrist, you’d concentrate on the wrist that feels good. You would pay attention to all the little movements, all the sensations of wellness in the healthy wrist, and gently transfer them all to the wrist that was injured. We can apply the same method to our relationships with others and ourselves.
Make a list of all the things you love about your partner, and if you do not presently have one, make the same list of all the partners of the past. YES, all of them. Now write down all the things you love about yourself when you are in love, and happy. All you have to do is transfer this love to whatever area of your relationship you’d like to improve, and then see the law of attraction work for you. Let love mend the disagreements or conflicts you are experiencing. Wake up each morning remembering why you fell in love with this particular person and use that to fuel your state of mind. Use this exercise for every relationship that needs mending, including the one with yourself. This is a great tool to use to attract the love and relationship you have been longing for. We hear over and over again that no one can love you if you don’t love yourself, but that is not accurate. All kinds of people can love you even if you don’t love yourself. However, you may never feel loved unless you are open to witnessing and receiving love from others.
If there is any ailment in your womb this is a perfect time to use this exercise to bring health and well being to it. If it seems that there is no part of your body without pain, then use the Uterus Mundi: place your hands on your belly and call the well being of the young womb that brought you into this world or your grandmother’s womb where you resided as an egg in your mother’s ovaries while she was growing in grandma’s belly. Use the wellness of your daughter’s womb, your best friend’s womb or any woman you like. Go even further and use Mothers Mary’s womb, or her mother Anna’s womb. Use Rachel’s womb if you are Jewish, or Khadīja (Mohammed’s first wife) if you are Muslim, According to Buddhist tradition, Queen Māyā of Sakya (Māyādevī) was the birth mother of Gautama Buddha, Siddhārtha of the Gautama, or even use the womb of Mother Teresa, which birthed so much love for humanity. You can transfer their well being into your belly and feel the potentiality of the Uterus Mundi that brings avatars, saints, and unconditional love into this world. This is your tribe and these are your ancestors. Their love lives inside of you. Their love is one with you.
Now it is time to place your love chakra seed on your altar and nurture it with this prayer.
The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere,
they're in each other all along.
From Essential Rumi
Giuditta Tornetta is a bestselling author (Painless Childbirth), doula, clinical hypnotherapist, CEO and founder of JoyInBirthing.com and the JoyInBirthingFoundation.org (a volunteer doula organization.) Giuditta has authored and has been interviewed in hundreds of magazines articles worldwide She teaches women around the world how to activate their womb power and manifest the life they desire.