Understanding the Heart Chakra
In Sanskrit, the Heart Chakra is known as Anahata, which translates as “unbeaten” or “unstuck,” suggesting that the energy found here can create a newfound flow when we are feeling stagnant or emotionally broken. The Anahata holds the space of human and divine love, kindness, gratitude, compassion, and forgiveness.This energy center is found in the middle of chest/sternum, between the breasts, balancing the world of matter (lower three chakras) with the world of spirit (upper three chakras).
The Heart Chakra is the center of our love for others, our love for ourselves, and the Universal love of all.
The Embodiment of Love
The Heart Chakra is the middle ground, the true center of the chakra system. It is the bridge between the three lower and three upper chakras, a space of balance that supports the flow of energy. The first three chakras give us the discovery of ourselves – what we need, want, and feel we deserve. The Heart Chakra is where we express our feelings about what we have found. Anahata holds our feelings of self-love, which is the foundation of all our relationships – we first must love and accept ourselves before we can completely love others.
Whether the relationship is with family, friends, or a romantic partner, the bonds we share are reflective of the love we have for ourselves. The Heart Chakra is responsible for all relationships, intimacy, and our interactions with others. We tend to gravitate towards people who will treat us the way we expect to be treated; the energy of this exchange is stored in the fourth chakra.
Opening the heart chakra is walking into a place of self-examination, the space where you establish intimacy and relationship with yourself. Here you learn enjoy your own company, to slowly but surely fall in love with your own soul. This self-nurturing creates boundaries and a sense of worth, which gives you the wisdom to instruct others on how to love and respect you. Self-love is the act of treating yourself with the same kindness, understanding, and compassion you would anyone else you love.
Love is universally recognized as the unifying force of humanity. When we open and connect to love, we connect to our soul and the spirit of others, attaining the realization that we are all one. The Heart Chakra is the space of Divine love, better known as unconditional love. This is feeling and depth of emotion without motive or expectations, and it is seen as the inner pink light within the fourth chakra. This is the nonjudgmental energy we use to heal ourselves and others, and is the foundation of compassion and forgiveness.
With an overactive Heart Chakra, you tend to be ruled by your emotions; those who suffer from bi-polar disorders, and overwhelmed empaths are extreme examples. Your decisions are based on how you feel at the moment, with no regard for the future or the needs of others. “I meant it at the time,” is a statement heard much by those with a imbalanced Anahata. You may have a flair for drama, as well as an issue with co-dependency, relying on the affection and attention of others to feel your own worth. In some instances, an overactive fourth chakra can manifest as shyness and distancing oneself from others, due to overwhelming emotions and fear of rejection.
With an under-active fourth chakra, the love you express and receive tends to be conditional: “I will only love you if you do this…” This conditional love extends to your treatment of yourself: “I’m only important if I can do this or if I have that.” An unbalanced Anahata is expressed by inferiority complexes, manipulation of others, trust issues, and feeling unloved and separate from the Universal flow and the world at large. “I don’t belong here,” is a much mumbled sentiment. Issues of jealousy, envy, and bouts of anger/rage are also symptoms of a traumatized heart.
With a balanced Anahata, you are expressive with your emotions and feelings. You have a strong foundation of self love, knowing how to care for yourself and having the wherewithal to do so. When placed in dramatic or potentially traumatizing situations, you take a balanced view, accepting your grief and experiencing the mourning process as needed. In relationships, you are supportive, nonjudgmental, and compassionate. If you are not yet able to give and receive love unconditionally, you are well on your way.You find it easy to embrace joy and happiness, and trust in your Self. You recognize your connection to the sacredness of the Universe, and draw support from the flow.
Sanskrit name: Anahata (unstuck)
Color: Green (the inner heart; the deep space of divine unconditional love is pink)
Virtues: love in all its forms, unconditional love, friendships, self-love, forgiveness, compassion, empathy, gratitude, generosity, kindness
Vices: grief, apathy, anger, loneliness, selfishness, stinginess
Body Association: Heart, lungs, circulatory system, arms, hands, skin
Scents: roses, jasmine, lavender, melissa, bergamot, neroli, geranium, helichrysum
Crystals: quartz, rose quartz, malachite, jade, green aventurine, emerald, green tourmaline, rhodochrosite, chrysophrase, green fluorite
Herbs: marjoram, basil, roses, yarrow, lavender, chamomile, mint
- I am open to love.
- I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
- I nurture my inner child.
- I am wanted and loved.
- I live my life with grace and ease.
- I forgive myself.
- I am open to love and kindness.
- I am connected to Divine love.
- I accept things as they are.
- I love myself unconditionally.
The Radiance Sutras, translated by Lorin Roche
© 2015 Brandi Auset