During certain experiences, we may find ourselves trying to protect ourselves by closing off our heart. We close off our emotions and shield ourselves from others and their behaviors so that our heart will not become hurt even more than it is. How others behave toward us affects our openness. The situations we experience alter our perception of how open we can be with our heart and with ourselves. If we are trying to protect ourselves because of past experiences by closing off our heart, then the past is all we will feel. For if our heart is closed, then all it knows is what has come before.
By opening our heart, we not only heal and move on, but we allow new experiences and feelings to flood in. Opening your heart can be done by letting go of the past that hurt you and allowing forgiveness to replace it. Release what was, how you felt, and all that caused you to hide and close your heart off. Past experiences, people and how they treated you, failures, losses, emotional distress, and anything which you felt you needed to protect yourself from can be released.
There is a difference between the feeling of having an open heart and that of a closed one. Do you easily feel defensive, critical, on edge, withdrawn, and protective of yourself? These can all be symptoms of a closed heart. If you are withholding your emotions and keeping them to yourself so much so that you feel you do not experience emotions at all, this is because you have literally closed yourself off. You are not experiencing the true emotions of the heart which are forgiveness, love, acceptance, and compassion. Your heart exists naturally this way; the other emotions and feelings you have are a response to the protective need you have developed.
By releasing what hurt you in your past, however far back it may be, you can begin to open and heal your heart. Try to go back to the time when you started feeling on edge, emotionally withdrawn, and not present with the emotions you could be experiencing. Find the time when you began to shield yourself and present a different heart to the world. This is the time that needs to be forgiven and released. By releasing these parts of your past, you no longer need to feel them constantly, because by letting go, you are moving on. Free yourself and your heart by allowing your heart to exist in an open way, with you in the present.
Let go of the past, so you can stop feeling closed off and protective. Instead, awaken your heart to its natural state--free, open, accessible, and unprotected. Your heart may get hurt again, but it can also experience love and everything else that goes along with it. It is like opening a window to the rest of the world and the rest of your life. When we exist with a closed off heart, the barriers between the rest of the world and our heart keep growing and we forget how it could be different. For in caging our heart off, we lose perspective on the other emotions we could be having. When you open your heart, you allow all the feelings and the strength of them to flood back in. If you feel like you are emotionally empty sometimes, it is because you cannot really experience your emotions with a closed heart. The protection you think you need for your heart is there because of something that happened in your past, but the past is gone. Free yourself up to experience the new emotions that may come, for they will be different from your past. Open your heart, and feel once again what you are meant to in this life.