The practice of well-wishing, in any form, has many effects, and one of these is a sense of trust and reduced fear.
When there is a lack of well-wishing for others, there is often a caught-upness in stories about them, which includes different clashes between stories of what should be and what is (a.k.a. criticism, judgment). In the absence of an open heart, these stories tends to come more easily in the foreground.
This creates a sense of uneasiness in many ways.
First, engaging in a general atmosphere of judgment and criticism spares no-one, including myself.
Then, a discomfort in engaging in these thoughts about them, without them knowing, and what they would say or do if they knew.
And finally, discomfort from projections in two forms.
One is simply an assumption that since I engage in judgment of them, they will do the same towards me. I cannot help but to see in the world what is alive here and now. I own it, and it colors how I see the world.
The other is judgment arising, not fitting with my image of myself, and then seeing it in others and not so much in myself. I disown it, and project it on others and see it as directed towards myself. In both cases, it creates a sense of others judging me, which brings up uneasiness… and fear.
And fear also comes up in another form here: a fear of what would happen if I didn’t engage in criticism and judgment. A fear of becoming like them, or of the parts in my that shouldn’t be there, according to my stories about them, taking over.
When there is a well-wising for others, this all reverses. The same mechanisms play themselves out, but now with opposite effects.
I inevitably include myself in this atmosphere of well-wishing, and I see it in others – either as already there or at least as a potential. In my well-wishing for others and myself, as see all of us as we can be, as whole, with an open and receptive heart. This creates a sense of well-being, and a sense of basic trust and reduced fear.
And even if the surface manifestation is different, I know that this is how we all can be, and are when knots unravel. As Byron Katie says, I know everyone loves me, I just don’t expect them to realize it yet.
Engaging in well-wishing, my heart and mind become more receptive.
My heart opens to myself and others. There is empathy, recognition, finding the universally human in what comes up in any of us, and a sense of the health and wholeness of each of us – at our human level – when knots are allowed to dissolve. (Knots are created by shoulds and narrow identities, creating the appearance of splits at our human level, and these are allowed to dissolve through an open heart.)
And my mind opens as well, becoming more receptive to the views of others, and the (limited) truth in all stories and views, so I can more easily meet people where they are at.
The empathy and recognition of an open heart invites an open mind, and the receptivity of an open mind invites the empathy and recognition of an open heart.