It is intense out there to say the least! I live in Arizona where there has been an admirable attempt to do the impossible – to balance health and economic concerns. As I occasionally watch the debates, the arguments, and the impatient protests, my conditioned reaction is to judge the angry demonstration. After working with angels for two decades, I know better. They remind me always to keep an open heart and to send love and prayers to those in fear, anger, or impatience. After all they’re just hurting. If I’m honest, I’ve been there in the past. If we’re all honest, most of us have been there.

We don’t have to like the behaviors. We have to honor our own feelings. Nonetheless, we can always pray, imagine the light within ourselves and the hurting souls, and thus be a force of love in the world, rather than just another voice of discontent.

It is time to be gentle and kind – to ourselves first – no matter what mood or mindset we find ourselves in. If we can accomplish that kindness towards self, we so much more easily grant it to another. We’re all newborn right now. We’re all feeling a little more vulnerable and sensitive than usual. Tenderness towards ourselves is more important than ever before.

Early in the pandemic, I was frequently visiting a neighborhood App I was touched deeply by the kindness neighbors were showing each other. As quarantine went on and tempers flared however, and vigorous, nasty debates started to pop up. Grown men and women were attacking one another, while hiding behind computer screens and behaving in ways they would never think to do face-to-face. I was appalled. I was judgmental! I wanted to give them a good talking-to, a hand-slap, a firm-mommy-sending-them-to-their-room message, but I stopped myself before hitting “enter.” That was my ego. My heart wants peace.

I chose to honor my heart, and to use discernment vs. judgment. The angry and abusive folks had right to behave however they wished. I had a right to want peace. Once I sat with that truth, the solution was easy. I left the App and prayed for all to find the peace I’d chosen in my own life.

It is so much easier to keep our hearts open to others if we take care of our own first. It is easier to live and let live when we honor our own guidance.

It isn’t always easy to keep our hearts open. I’ve failed miserably at times. But the good news is that the heart wants to be open. The heart wants you to love yourself so you can love others. The heart wants us to accept ourselves first without conditions – whether we’re feeling high, happy, and holy, or not. The mind may be conditioned to hang onto pain but the heart craves peace, passion, purpose, and joy. It wants to be open.

Here are a few pointers to keep your heart open while we move forward in this bumpy and often tumultuous re-birthing and re-opening of society.

1. Take good care of yourself

Take an honest look at your life and discover areas where you require better self-care. Do you need to go to bed earlier so you can wake up and exercise or have time without rushing? Do you need to take time to chew your food, read a book, ask for help from others? Do you need to be on the phone with friends or family more… or less?

Really be honest with yourself and start with small, simple, authentic and positive changes. When we care for ourselves well we can so much more easily care about others. When we love ourselves, we can love others.

2. Honor your own feelings

Forget what the rest of the world is doing for a moment. If you feel uncomfortable about something, don’t do it. Listen to your heart, your guidance, and the loving impulses within you.

Guidance feels good. Guidance feels loving. Guidance doesn’t come with a lot of drama or fear. It just feels natural, right, gentle, and kind. If you can listen to your own feelings and knowings you won’t have to worry about being safe or provided for moving forward.

Heaven wants you to be safe and provided for.

A peaceful heart feels its own feelings and biologically triggers a peaceful mind that can think more clearly and perceive incoming thoughts of guidance more easily.

3. Discern vs. Judge

The angels say “Judgment says no right to be. Discernment says not right for me.” Judgment feels bad. Discernment feels good.

Judgment says, “That idiot isn’t wearing a mask! How dare they expose me!” Discernment says, “I’ll wear one and walk far away from those who aren’t.”

Or Judgment says, “Look at all those fearful folks wearing masks!” whereas discernment might say, “I am not afraid but I’ll be compassionate and wear one so I don’t inadvertently infect or frighten others.”

I’m not picking sides on this issue – just illustrating a point.

We must all find our own truth. The angels remind us that the deepest truth is always loving and compassionate – for ourselves first, then for all.

Keeping an open heart means realizing that you have a right to be as you are. You have a right to feel as you do. Others have the very same.

We’ll never all be in agreement. Perhaps in years to come we will agree to disagree and realize that we are all #InItTogether, and always have been.

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