When Life Hurts, Please Don't Close Your Heart

I spent actually a great deal of time writing a post yesterday. Having not written for a full week it took more effort than usual. I had to think about it. I had to find the words. But I got there and it was ready to go.

And then I woke up and there was just this.

Life. 

Messy, spontaneous, in your face life.

It hurts sometimes. Things happen that tear at the fabric of your being.  

In those moments, if you're aware, you can actually feel your heart attempting to close itself off. I can feel this right now. I can feel myself resisting the pain. Resisting the truth of how much it hurts so I don't have to feel it. Closing myself down so I can avoid being with that much pain which is so much deeper than I'd like to admit. Because it's not just the pain of this fresh wound, it's the pain of all of life's wounds, layered up over time. It's the sum total of my experiences and the stories I have around them.

So I find myself in a moment of awareness in which I can feel the battle being played out - resist the pain and close my heart - or feel the pain in all its intensity and just allow myself to be with it and explore it and go into it. 

I don't want that. I don't want to have to feel that pain. I don't want to accept how much it hurts. And I'm afraid of where it will lead me if I go into it. 

But when you resist the pain, when you close yourself off and decide not to feel it, the wound deepens. It might feel good in the short term. It might feel like you can forget about it and that it's really not that big of a deal.

But it will always return to the surface with the next fresh wound. 

So instead there's the option to feel it now. To place your hands on your heart and just allow that pain to flood in. To place your hands on your heart and ask yourself how it truly feels.

When I do that now I can feel the river of sadness and hurt beneath the burning anger. I can feel that beneath the resentment and anger I feel towards others is the deep pain of having rejected myself and of not having taken care of the little girl inside me. I can feel all of what it means to me coming to the surface. 

I don't enjoy that pain. I don't enjoy sitting there with all of this pain flowing out of me. But it also feels good. Because it is flowing OUT and not burying itself deeper INSIDE where it only blocks the heart. Where it prevents me from loving and therefore from being loved.

Perhaps something's hurting for you now. Perhaps something will hurt for you tomorrow or next week or next month. Pain is a part of life. Things happen sometimes that hurt. A lot. 

Next time that happens, try placing your hands across your heart and asking yourself, "how does this feel?" and allow yourself to go beneath any anger or resentment you're feeling. The anger and resentment are not the true feelings. The sadness and pain and hurt beneath it are.

Allow yourself to feel that. Allow yourself to be a mess for a while. Allow the river to flow. Maybe sit with someone who can hold a loving space for you whilst you go through that. 

But just allow yourself to feel it. Because the world needs your heart to stay open. An open heart is a loving heart. And the world needs more love.

It's not an easy task. I don't want to make it sound easy. Just feel the pain then your heart will be free and open. No, maybe not. But I do know that feeling the pain and letting it out rather than stuffing it down will always be better for you and others.

You have work you're here to do. You're here to make a positive difference in the world. You're here to inspire, encourage, support, lift up, motivate. Doing the work you're here to do in the deepest way possible requires you to do what you can to keep your heart wide open. Which means feeling that pain.

Love and courage,

Leah