There’s a misconception going around that keeps those who believe it from living a real, full, satisfied life. It tends to affect men more than women, although both genders fall prey. It makes its believers seem immutable and powerful, while keeping them from looking frail or airy-fairy. And it also cuts them off from a fundamental facet of being human. From this paradigm one can exert substantial power onto the world and instigate memorable change. But it could never let us attain the lasting satisfaction nor interpersonal magnetism that would otherwise help us reach our maximum potential.
It’s that voice in the back of our heads that warns:
IF I OPEN MY HEART, I’LL LOSE MY BALLS.
If I show feelings or make a decision with empathy I’ll look weak.
I’ll become a pussy.
I could get bullied by my friends.
Like what mobster Paul Vitti (Robert DeNiro) said to psychiatrist Ben Sobel (Billy Crystal) during therapy in Analyze This:
Paul: “If I talk to you and you turn me into a fag, I’m gonna kill ya, you understand?”
Dr.Ben: “Could we define fag? Because some feelings may come up…”
Paul: “I go fag, you die.”
[Hear it from DeNiro himself here: http://www.hark.com/clips/bcbjmqyjrq-if-i-go-fag ]
Those who hold this belief assume that they can only have either heart OR balls. And it makes sense. We’ve seen the spineless new-age hippie who makes love to the planet as he exudes infinite peace and frolics with fluttering fairies, but who’s also broke and hates all “successful” people for being evil and greedy. And we’ve seen the ruthless tycoon whose pursuits of power and success have built empires, but have also wreaked havoc in his family life, friendships, and beyond (does a certain President ring a bell?).
However, some have begun to “get” a different truth:
Heart and balls don’t cancel each other out.
On the contrary: each enhances the other with essential qualities the other is missing. That’s why we have both to begin with. Heart provides us with love for oneself and others, unattachment, and an inclusive world-view. Balls generate courage, assertiveness, and effective choice-making. They’re both meant to be used, each in its own domain, complementing the other. To use either while excluding the other is to invoke the spineless hippie or the relentless asshole. Neither is balanced. Being open to both creates farther-reaching choices that result in better conditions for all.
In fact, it takes more balls to open the heart than to shut it down.
Think about it. For many, it’s scarier to expose one’s feelings and act from a vulnerable, loving place than to force one’s cock down the world’s throat. Many have been ridiculed and bullied for showing empathy or respect, both quintessential by-products of the heart. And praises have been sung to those who lead the way relentlessly from their balls. So of course many would rather show only their balls and keep that heart out of sight, where it belongs. (And, ladies, this cock shoving can also include you, although men tend to shut down emotionally more often and tighter.)
Isn’t it time we had the balls to show our hearts?
When we open our hearts we surrender to the fact that, by nature, we are feeling beings – more so than thinking beings. Our intuition opens up, and fresh, more inclusive ideas and opportunities appear in our “reality”. As we dare to accept this way of being and step outside our ego our emotional default begins to elevate. We feel happier and more trusting, and those around us seek us out because of the magnetic energy we radiate. Some may even be secretly inspired while not explicitly letting us on (could that be the proverbial silent majority?).
True, we most likely will face resistance from the mind – and others – as we begin to open the heart. Any transition is at least awkward, often painful. We’re not used to this yet, so our own ability to perceive new feedback may need a chance to sharpen while we wait for the guillotine to drop. Stick to it. Take off your armor, act, and be patient. Dare to be in the uncertainty. Wait for a response that may deviate from what you’re used to. And only then determine whether it’s worth the effort and initial fear. If you observe closely and patiently enough, you’ll find it’s worth every uncomfortable moment outside the ego’s shell. You’ll also find that, in this case, “outside” becomes “beyond”.
So, more heart doesn’t have to mean less balls. It just enables our balls to do what they do in a more evolved way. And ultimately, the one who benefits most from having the balls to use the heart is whoever chooses to do it.
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