The Concept of a Cramped Heart

When I was in college, I took a philosophy class. Specifically, Philosophy of Happiness and it was taught by a nun, since I attended a “Catholic affiliated college”—the term used in order for the school to maintain its government grants, which I partook in some of those grants. It was a very broad topic, allowing me to read into the dying art of philosophy—dying because it has been converted to new age or self help. Through my readings, I stumbled upon forgiveness, which is a highly relevant for me because it is one of the core teachings of Buddhism as I was taught but never took to heart. Forgiveness is the hardest value to learn, moreso than patience, and its worth is often overshadowed but it is the means to a road for happiness and true fulfillment.

My mother used to tell me, you shouldn’t have such a “jet jom-eard“, cramped feeling/heart. This concept of having a cramped heart is the inability for your heart and soul to see things for its better purpose, therefore, growing intolerant and merciless leading to a life of struggle and unhappiness.

One of my greatest downfall, which my boyfriend often finds worrisome, is the way I cut people out of my life. When I snap, it could be one mistake or many, I cut that person completely and utterly from my life that existence seems nil. I don’t bother to forgive or to learn to let go. I just shut it out of my life. To forgive, I would have to release the anger and disappointment that is the bandage and the wound would be exposed, hurting me. And pain is something I don’t deal well with but it is essential in our lives because without it, we wouldn’t know what happiness is.

Through it all, I learned that this cramped heart I have is in many people’s heart. And the only thing it has given me is heartburn.

Indeed, my mother is right to tell me not to worry about other people’s trouble. We all have our own issues and problems. If we spend our time and energy rectifying our own issues and less on others, we will have less stress and worry. When we then learn to open our heart to be spacious and clean, we invite beauty and happiness to occupy those spaces instead of greed, vanity, and desire. And when you forgive, you let go of all the negative energy that encompasses your life, giving your heart more space. And with this space, you can invite peace and calmness and eventually create an open heart, inviting happiness and serenity.

And so, with the new year, I’ve resolved to learn to forgive. To forgive myself, to forgive others. I want to free my heart of all the negativity and focus on the good and strive to make myself better so that others will want to be good. I will forgive those people who walk all over me, those people who have nothing in life better to do than to meddle with my life and others, and most of all, those people who have hurt me.