June 11, 2022

A Beautiful Practice for Opening our Hearts in the Face of Pain.

Today, my heart hurts, but not in the way it has in the past. It’s not a bitter pain like it once was.

Today, it’s a soft pain, as though my heart is expanding, but to expand it needs to push out the old gunk that was left in there, forgotten over a period of time.

It feels like an opening—a purging.

Maybe I’m ready to release the old pain—the pain that has been sitting in there for several years.

The pain of many heartbreaks, of the loss of pets and other loved ones, leaving my family behind, losing touch with old friends, childhood wounds that have followed me into adulthood. Not to mention the heaviness of climate change, war, famine, sh*tty leaders, and evil agendas.

I’m the type of person who once shut down in the face of pain. The person who would busy herself because there was no room for discomfort.

I’d rather work all day than spend three minutes feeling. The moment a sensation fluttered into my physical world, my brain would see something shiny and follow the crumb, getting lost in the mental body, leaving the physical world behind.

My shoulders would round forward, protecting my heart space as if I were about to go to war.

I don’t want to be that person anymore. I can’t change the world if I’m that person—and I want to change the world. Maybe that’s naive and ambitious of me, but it’s the truth.

Today, I allowed myself to settle into the sensations. I felt my heart pressing against the walls of my ribcage, the pumping of blood through the straws of the thick tissue, the tingling of sadness, anger, gratitude, and compassion as it tickled my insides, all while tears flooded my eyelids.

I felt the comfort of my hand against my chest, sending an energetic hug to the part of me that needed it the most.

The more I take time to feel, the more I recognize that sadness and gratitude feel similar to me; the difference is the story my mind attaches to it.

Today, I feel the heaviness of the world. I feel as though I’m purging the pain of those who are still choosing to disconnect like I once did, and at the same time, I feel gratitude for those who have done the same for me in the past.

Today, I choose to open, instead of close.

All day, I have been reminding myself that I’m safe. I am holding my heart. I can hold the space for the inner me who needs to feel. For the past me whose heart was shattered by betrayal and loss, the version of me who was too afraid to pick up the pieces—present me can hold space for her to let go.

As I walked around my house, I chose to pull my shoulders back when I noticed the urge to round my shoulders to protect my heart, choosing to expose my heart to the world as I puffed out my chest—not in a “hey look at me” way, but an “I’m open and ready to feel” way.

Try it with me, if you’re feeling comfortable and in a safe place.

Sit up straight, the best posture you’ve taken today, feet flat on the floor signaling to your body that you’re supported by the earth, take a deep inhale, exhale all the bullsh*t, pull your shoulders back, and push your heart space forward. Breathe into it, feel, and cry if you need to. Place your hand to your heart for extra support.

Oftentimes, we’re so determined to stay strong in the face of sadness; we’re conditioned to believe that emotion equals weakness, but how about just for today, we listen to our hearts instead. Let’s for today, believe that emotion equals strength.

I believe to show vulnerability (even if only to ourselves) is the true definition of strength.

~

 

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