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The Heart Chakra: How it Impacts Your Ability to Love and Be Loved

Katie Ness
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Our emotions reside physically in our bodies. On a subtle level, our bodies communicate with the energies around us and certain energetic impulses usually relate directly to a certain part of the body and chakra that’s weakened or imbalanced.
 
Each chakra represents a spiritual life lesson or challenge to help us gain a more in-depth understanding of our personal and spiritual power. This in turn helps us learn how to overcome obstacles, let go of emotional blockages, and walk the path towards spiritual consciousness.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi

This article explains the Heart chakra (the fourth chakra) in-depth by exploring its emotional and mental connection to the physical world.
 
The heart chakra is the central powerhouse of the subtle body. This is the focal point or bridge that connects the first three chakras relating to the external world to the three higher chakras associated with intuition and spirituality. The heart is the mediator between body and spirit, and it directly determines their strength and health.
 
Below are the main characteristics of the heart chakra:
 
The heart chakra, or Anahata, deals with unconditional love and emotional power. At its core, this chakra is emotional and propels us to enhance our emotional development. The heart embodies a gentle wisdom that teaches us the ways of love and compassion. It is in this fourth chakra that we begin to recognize that the most powerful energy on earth is Love.

The Anahata chakra resonates with our emotional perceptions of the world.

This chakra is the center of child-like innocence and joy. When we were children, we used to react to circumstances with a variety of emotions: confidence, compassion, love, hope, despair and fear. But as adults, generating emotions and being allowed to express them is extremely challenging. The Anahata evokes our capacity to love and let go; to accept our emotional challenges and surrender to a divine plan.
 
 

What the heart chakra teaches us

Interestingly, the challenge of the heart chakra is very similar to the challenges of the Solar Plexus (the third chakra), only it communicates with us on a slightly more sophisticated level and is tuned in at a frequency that encourages us to expand our love beyond our ‘Self.’
 
We notice in the Solar Plexus an unfolding shift in consciousness – a dual force of exploring the self independently in the external world, and reflecting internally to better understand the ego’s place within the physical realm.
 
Inversely, the heart chakra fully immerses itself in our emotional responses, along with our internal world. It responds to inner thoughts, ideas, attitudes, inspiration and emotional needs. If all your chakras are aligned at this point, you will exude a compassionate energy, you will openly give unconditional love and you will form healthy relationships.
 

 

How to recognize blockages in your heart chakra

If this chakra is out of balance, an individual can suffer from jealousy, inability to forgive others, and even become the abuser or abused in relationships because love is power and some people use this power to control others. Abusers need that control due to their lower chakras being unable to generate love from their tribe (Muladhara), friends (Sacral), and their ‘Self’ (Solar Plexus).
 
Physical dis-ease from a weak Anahata can manifest into circularity issues and blood disorders (due to being unable to circulate love through oneself and others), breast cancer and heart dis-ease (from holding onto heartbreak or pain associated with love), and illness in the lungs, diaphragm, and even suicide because the individual may not believe they deserve to ‘breathe in’ loving, universal life force (often referred to as prana, or Chi/Qi).
 
Primary fears that form in an imbalanced heart chakra include being afraid to follow your heart, loneliness, and commitment issues. Throughout life, we have to grow and develop our sense of love, and at the same time learn to forgive, show mercy and have hope in our hearts.
 
This is the strength of the Anahata – having courage to love and show compassion towards ourselves and to others, regardless of our circumstances.
 
 

Learn to live with a happy heart

It is said that subtle (emotional) energies flow through our veins. Therefore, if you allow hurt and bitterness to overpower you, these negative emotional energies circulate through your body and as a result, can damage the entire body and spirit. But if you can forgive and let go, allowing all things loving to be recorded in every breath and every cell, then you will live with a happy heart.
 
We all live in the biological consequences of our biological choices – therefore, we essentially choose to grow a bitter heart or a loving heart.
 
We are in a culture that has not yet healed the ‘wounded child’ within, so painful memories and negative attitudes still haunt us, which creates a dysfunctional self-image and keeps us living in the past. All this emotional debris needs to be filtered from the heart and eliminated through the root chakra. Literally, we need to let go of that shit!
 
 

Life medicine for the heart chakra

Meditate on love and forgiveness because they go hand in hand: to love is to forgive, to forgive is to love. Incorporate Ujjayi Pranayama breathing to draw in the loving life force. Say kind things, be giving, remain thankful, and let go of emotional pains held in the heart.
 
Yoga poses for Anahata: Cobra, Fish pose, and Head to Knee forward bend.
Crystals to balance Anahata: Peridot, Rose Quartz, Lavender Kunzite
Aromatherapy for Anahata: Rose, Melissa, Neroli
 
In Taoism and Tantrism, the heart chakra is the house of divine fire. Even in paintings of Jesus, we see a flaming open heart ready to spread like wildfire to every being in this world. This is a reminder that no matter what, we need to forgive mistakes and exude love because it is the greatest energy source that has the power to transcend all pain and heartache.
 
Everything within our lives is fueled by heart intentions. It is part of the soul’s journey to experience what will make our hearts break – not in half, but wide open! The lesson here is: What will you do with your pain? Will you use it as an excuse or will you transcend and forgive? The heart is the path of divine love and spiritual consciousness. Are you ready to walk this road?
 

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Katie Ness

Katie is an Artist, Tribal Belly Dancer, Traveling Yogini and Writer living and working in Devon, UK. She is currently setting up Belly Dance classes, studying a Dance Therapy Diploma and saving up to do Yoga Teacher Training in order to combine the Yoga with Belly Dance. She is of Romany Gypsy heritage and can be seen with her nose stuck in a book, daydreaming or playing with her Tarot Cards.

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