No matter what tradition or experience we come from, many of us know about Easter. Whether it’s mainly about gorging on chocolate and searching for the Easter bunny; getting days off to spend time with family; or having the time to spiritually reflect – Easter is a time where we can, hopefully, stop and relax.
So in this relaxing and stopping, what are you doing – what are you thinking about? If you stay in silence for a minute – better yet, hours – you might even be able to what hear your heart is telling you. This stopping allows yourself to listen and be vulnerable to your own heart.
Being ‘pure’ can mean different things to different people. For one person, it could mean purity of thoughts, for another, purity of character. It could connote simplicity, compassion, truth. For many, it might relate to being an all-around ‘good’ person – a person seeking ‘good’ things in the world and in people.
The definition of ‘purity’ is ‘the condition or quality of being pure; freedom from anything that debases, contaminates or pollutes’. Other definitions talk about ‘freedom from guilt or evil’. In scientific terms, we talk about pure gold, or a pure breed. Being ‘pure’ then, is a measure of wholeness. It relates to the completeness of something, and freedom from other things.
But what about having a ‘pure’ heart? What does this look like?
The reason that we talk about ‘heartbreak’ when we experience incredibly disappointing and discouraging events goes back a fair while. The ancient egyptians, for example, believed the heart to be the source of the soul, memory, emotion and personality; and the philosopher Aristotle thought the the heart to be the source of intelligence, motion, and sensation. Sure, although that’s not medically correct nowadays, it’s not your physical heart we are talking about, it’s your spiritual heart. Your soul, your being. These are parts of us that, if they weren’t exposed to the all of the influences of this world, would be ‘pure’.
‘You can make me whole again’ – Atomic Kitten.
We don’t hear a lot about ‘purity’ these days. In fact, it’s almost controversial to talk about it, because the word doesn’t necessarily have positive connotations for women anymore. It can even be seen as an attack on female freedom, healthy sexuality, and pushing an archaic view of what women and girls should be. Our understanding of purity as women has been completely distorted by countless womens’ experiences of inequality, of so many people misinterpreting what it means to be pure, and then pushing this misinterpretation onto women in the most strongest of senses. This has led many of us as women to turn away from seeking ‘purity’, and to instead pursue freedom of choice, of opportunity. But then, what of compassion, truth, goodness of character? What if purity of heart could actually lead to freedom?
We are all flawed, which means all of our hearts have been tarnished and hurt in some way. By broken relationships, by past negative experiences, and even by the media we consume. But this doesn’t mean we have to continue to live with tarnished hearts. We actually have the option to choose freedom. Making this choice means not giving up on yourself – and the state of your heart is worth that.
When we hang out with people that are bad for us – yes, think about that toxic relationship or friendship you may have (unfortunately) had – or watch or read nasty things, we are allowing crap to go into our heart. If you’re filling your mind and soul with these things – it’s difficult for you to continually protect yourself from this seeping into your heart. It’s like staying in a bad relationship where you are not encouraged or appreciated or respected – you are surrounded by so much negative energy that, eventually, it makes your heart crack. You can no longer protect yourself from the negativity seeping in. This person or this influence is not building up you or your heart – it’s destroying it. This is not freedom, ladies.
‘I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet’ – Mahatma Gandhi.
Having purity of heart means freedom, because you are not letting people or anything walk on your heart, mind and soul permanently, unless they are contributing to that freedom. What right do people have to affect your heart if it’s not for the purpose of building it up? Of making it more complete?
So, as you stop and rest this Easter, think about what you’re seeking. We encourage you, seek people and influences that make you more whole, not more broken. In this way, seek freedom.
Have a wonderful Easter, ladies. Mucho Love.