This, again, is pretty obvious, but worth mentioning as a reminder for myself...
Any situation can close or open our heart.
A simple example from a couple of days ago: I see an abandoned cat at a truck stop, spend some time making friends with it so I can catch it and find a home for it, and somebody - in spite of seeing me and the cat, walks quickly next us, the cat is scared, runs off, and is not seen again.
So here, I can close my heart to the guy who scared the cat off without concern for it. In this case, the compassion for the cat, and for myself, gets caught up in the drama of closing my heart off from the guy. There is a lot of resistance to experience, and discomfort.
Or I can open my heart to everyone involved, to the cat, to myself, to the guy who scared the cat. We are all in the same boat here. We all operate from conditioning. We all want happiness and freedom from suffering. There is no difference here. So in this case, there is no drama, just a heart open to everyone in the situation. There is peace. No need to resist experience.
And this is the case with any situation.
When I notice that I use a particular situation to close my heart, I can see if I can include the person I closed my heart off from in my compassion. And really, the person I am closing my heart off from is always myself. I close my heart off, and it is closed off from myself right there.
So any situation can either open or close my heart.
When my heart is open to some beings and not to others, it opens and closes depending on where attention goes, and there is confusion, drama, a sense of something to protect, and constant work in analyzing the situation, comparing it with beliefs, and then deciding who to open and close my heart towards. It's a lot of work, and does not give much peace or satisfaction.
When I include everyone indiscriminately, it is much easier, much less work, more peaceful, and gives a sense of fullness and connection. It even helps me to function and interact from more clarity.
I also notice that when I open or close my heart, I mainly open or close it towards myself. I am the one who lives with the effects of it, 24/7.