Is your bucket leaking?
You have probably heard about the cracks in the broken heart being where the light enters. Those cracks are experiences that deepen your insight and understanding, and our ability to give and receive love. But have you heard about holes in the heart? A heart with lots of wholes in the bottom? A heart that can contain neither love nor light for long, because it leaks?
There’s a story, a Sufi story, about a student who went to visit his teacher. The teacher was known to be very eccentric and teach in crazy ways. The student was very well aware of this and had set his heart on going along with what ever the teacher would say or do. He knew that a lesson probably would be hidden in the craziness.
The the teacher was thrilled to see his student.
“Great! Good to see you!”, he shouted. “Come and help me fetch water from the well.” They went to the well where the teacher started drawing water and pouring it into the bucket that the student was holding ready. The teacher joyfully and enthusiastically poured and poured, but the bucket never filled up.
“With respect, may I point out that the bucket is leaking?” the student said, after a while. The teacher laughed. “Oh, I didn’t notice! I was only looking at the top of the bucket. What does the bottom have to do with it?”
There is a lot of talk about giving and receiving love these days. We are told that we have to fill ourselves with love in order to give love. We are told that we have to give love in order to receive love. "You can't give what you don't have". (I use this phrase a lot.). We are told to open our hearts to love so that we can give and receive even more. But for many of us who practice this, more is never enough. Why is that?
Could it be that the “the bucket” is leaking? Or, could it be that "the bucket" is so small that everything just spills out before we have had the chance to feel anything.
Our hearts have had to take a lot of hurtful experiences over the years. Loss of loved ones. Hurtful remarks and comments. Anxieties and worries. Like small and big arrows they have plunged into our “bucket” with various forces and intentions.
Not all arrows were meant to hurt or do damage. But they have anyway.
Some of them may have made holes in the bottom of our heart. Other experiences have sunk to the bottom and and are left there to rust holes. Big holes or tiny, small holes. It doesn’t matter. Even small, tiny holes can sink a ship.
How much of the love that comes our way are we able to keep? How much of it do we really feel deep inside us?
Some of us are good at mending the holes. Some of us get ourselves new “buckets” from time to time.
But many of us are not aware having a leaking heart or a heart that has become so tiny over time that it can't hold enough to make us taste the love that comes our way.
Are we only concerned about what is being poured in to our heart right now? Are we enjoying it just for as long as it lasts, which may not be very long, and go back to feeling empty hearted, lacking and needy again.
Some of us try to mend our holes by stitching them together with logic and reason.
Every time we stitch the holes together, our heart shrinks a little. The container becomes smaller.
If the “bucket” is too small it will overflow before the deepest part of our being will feel anything. It won’t have time to ripen. It won't have time to sink in to our deepest being. It won’t stick. No matter how much we are given, if our “bucket” is full of holes it will never fill up enough to quench our thirst for more. And more will never be enough.
There is something called “a change of heart”. Not in the sense of changing your point of view but in the sense of cleaning the slate and staring over. In the Japanese language this term literally means to take the heart out and put in a new one. Not the physical heart, but the "kokoro", the feeling heart.
Get yourself a new heart this spring. Let go of your old heart, no matter how much you are attached to it. Get yourself a new, clean and shining one.
A heart without holes. A heart that is not pierced by arrows from the outside world because it is filled with Divine love. Keep it clean so that nothing stays to rust holes in the bottom.
How do we do that? It is a bit more work than just going to the store and buying a new bucket. The throwing out of the old one and installing the new does not have to be such a big operation. It’s the aftercare and maintenance that is crucial.
The aftercare decides wether or not your new heart will adapt and function in your body. You must constantly be aware of just having undergone “heart surgery”.
There will be certain things you will not want to do anymore and other things you will have to learn how to do. And a lot of things you will have to UN-learn. You have to watch your mental diet so as not to put unnecessary, too much or too little pressure on your new heart.
You will have to exercise regularly and daily, just as you have to in order to keep your physical heart healthy.
You will have to take this dead seriously or else your heart will get sick and malfunctioning again in no time.
And be sure to throw the old one so far away that you don’t fall for the temptation to re-install it.
Can we really do this? Yes, we can!
We can “Change our hearts”.
We can use our intelligence to change the broken record that has caused your inner music to play in a replay loop of lack for such a long time.
We can do this by shifting our focus. and becoming aware of being a part of the Divine that surrounds us.
And how do we do that?
There are many different ways and many practices that can help us do this. What works best for me conscious breathing.
I take moments to breathe into the heart-space and feel Divine love. It's like sunbathing for the heart.
I breathe and feel my heart expand and make space for more love and more light.
Sounds easy, doesn’t it? It is easy.
Most exercises to keep our mind and body fit and functioning are easy. But they must be done. Thinking about walking every day does not make you fit. Walking everyday does!
We are built with a super mechanism that lets us breathe automatically. When the mechanism fails or stops, our body dies.
I think that this mechanism has more merits than just filling our lungs with oxygen. I believe it was installed in us so that we would constantly be filled with Divine energy and love wether we want it or not. But with holes in our “bucket” the physical heart will benefit from the oxygen while our inner heart, our Kokoro" is depleted. Oxygen stays while the rest leaks out. The same happens if the “bucket” it too small. We won’t get enough nourishment.
Honestly and childlike, this is what I believe.
It is spring. Creation and re-creation is happening all around. It’s the perfect time to re-discover that tender spot inside our ribcage and give it a new start. A new birth.
Create a new container for love and see how your world will be re-created. Breathe as if your life was at stake, because it is.
Soak up the light like the moon when it’s fully lit up by the sun. Every new drop of love will make your heart overflow with life energy instead of leaking through holes in the bottom.
And!, we can’t give what we don’t have.
Picture of the leaking bucket is from the internet and owned by chartingyourfinancialfuture.com
Tarot card: Five of Disks, Tabula Mundi Tarot available at www.tarotcart.com