Open heartedness

It seems like I've been getting a lot of messages about open-heartedness recently. My dad is facing open-heart surgery, a literal opening of the heart to repair it. So this has me thinking a lot about the figurative implications of opening the heart. It's really only in western traditions that we believe these two are separate. Many traditions believe that the "figurative" healing leads to actual, physical healing. Beyond that, though, it feels really important to open my heart during this adoption process. Obviously I want to open my heart to a child, but also to potential birthparents who are struggling with an extremely difficult decision. I need my heart to be open to whatever possibilities lie ahead, be they painful or jubilant. We are too often taught, I think, to keep our hearts closed, for fear they will get bruised or broken. But it seems that just as in a procedure for physical repair, our hearts have to be opened to heal; to let the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.  I'm not saying it's easy - it's not. But if we allow ourselves to be open, to let our hearts break and get put back together again, over and over, then each time we can make more and more space in between the cracks for openness. For love. And isn't that what it's all about?