Is there anything I want to get rid of, that I feel doesn’t belong, is not ok, or should stop? And if there is such a thing, is there any way that I can include it? For example, by saying to myself: “Ok, this is here right now. I don’t have to like it, I don’t have to agree with it, I don’t have to find it ok. But: can I let it be what it is and how it is?”
These questions invite you into the open heart when it’s closed off in relation to something, whether it is an experience, a thought, or an inner image or memory. “Can I include this? Can I let this be part of my inner experience?”
And it’s also ok to disagree, to say no I don’t think this should be here. But at the same time, when it is here, it is, and then it needs to be included. AND: you can do everything within your means to make it stop. That’s ok. It doesn’t mean everything is always good.
Asking this question leads us to dealing with reality at two different levels. At the level of loving awareness, everything is included. At the human level, you don't have to become an unfeeling zombie or put your head in the sand.
It is ultimately a mystery why there is so much suffering in our world. And yet here it is, and as long as it’s here, it can be included. We can open our heart to it. And at the same time, we can do all we can to help it stop, or help it be alleviated.
When we take action from an open heart, it is very different from action that is taken from a closed heart, from anger, or fear, or shut down feelings. It touches others and invites them into an open heart, too, as they receive our help, our compassion, our dedication. Open-hearted action has a way of spreading open-heartedness, where close-hearted action will likely cause others to close their hearts, too.
It’s a choice we have in every moment. Do we include or exclude, say yes or no? Do we open our hearts, or close them? Do we let our hearts be broken open by all the suffering in this world, or do we close them? It’s a choice.