Having an open and loving heart does not mean having to ignore or compromise your boundaries, nor disregard your intuition. Being open-hearted does not mean you have to spend time with people or situations that annoy you or compromise your safety. You are not a doormat. You are not even a dish towel. You are a being filled with strength, knowing, beauty, and have a wise heart.
I recently found myself in a very challenging situation, where I had a choice as to whether to listen to my intuition and possibly upset another, or appease the wishes of another to keep them happy. How many times have you done something just to please another even though your body or your heart or something inside you was begging you not to? The thing is, if I had not been practicing listening to my inner guidance and actually following its advice these past years, I don't know that I would have listened and followed suit on this day. Too much at risk on the other end: seriously upsetting a friend and risking our friendship, having to exist in that uncomfortable dynamic with the other person for hours (we were not in a situation to be able to escape one another's company), and being seen as heartless.
I share this story to emphasize this point: having an open and loving heart does not always immediately create happy sunny situations. You may have to say no and risk upsetting another. You may find yourself scared to take action. It may just be plain uncomfortable. But what I have always found to be true, is that there is a deep inner peace and greater strength present...even amongst any discomfort.
Having an open heart means being still enough to hear the wisdom of all those forces within and without that guide you along in this life. It's about trusting yourself. It's seeing the beauty in others through their imperfections, seeing your own beauty through your own imperfections. It is being able to offer forgiveness. It's being empathetic towards your own kaleidoscope of emotions, as well as others. Having an open and loving heart is about being able to receive what life offers you, exactly as it comes.