My Heart is broken....open
My life, as it is, has been generous enough to teach me to stay in the present moment as of late. I have known how to do this for some time. I might even have said that I practice it. And I did! I practiced it beautifully when life was easy and smooth. In moments of pure joy, driving in the mountains of Colorado with my love, I was absolutely present. Walking on the beach at sunset, I was the Zen Master!
To stay present amid the pain of grief and heartbreak however, that is where presence tests our muscle and given the opportunity, lets in the light. So it is, that we learn mindfulness and staying present in hopes that someday when our heart breaks open, there is room for Grace to settle in. I have had many transitions this past year. Some joyful, some life changing and others have brought great heartbreak. Losing somebody you love makes you question your lovability, your worthiness and sometimes even your life purpose.Your heart aches, you feel abandoned and rejected. You feel scared and lonely, you can’t eat, you can’t sleep. You wonder how you got here, how life has put you in this situation.
Life transitions inevitably bring with them grief, even the ones that we celebrate as accomplishments. Your child heading off to college, is a joyous moment, yet you feel the emptiness of a now quiet home. The dream job that you have always wanted and that you are celebrating means saying good bye to current co-workers you have grown to love. So as our hearts break, we have the choice to fill the cracks with mortar. To fortify our hearts and build strong walls. Yet, as we take great care to protect ourselves from pain, we limit our ability to feel great joy. The dichotomy of life is the song of the universe; birth and death, growth and decay, joy and sorrow.
Heartbreak is really the time to practice our spirituality and courage. We need to go through these transitions in a conscious and present way. To reach out to people that will not help us to stay comfortable and revert back to our old selves, but that will lovingly and faithfully challenge us to open our heart, look at our pain and help us walk through our difficulties with dignity and courage. Teachers that will encourage us to risk again and again loss and heartbreak. Because it is only to the extent that we are willing to open ourselves that we can see what lies within. It is often the most difficult and heartbreaking events that help us discover our own strength and compassion and help us live a heart centered joyous life.
And so it is that today I embrace the opportunity to practice mindfulness. To sit with the pain, not in self pity, but to feel it completely. To let the pain wash over me like waves and then watch it leave again. The beauty of mindfulness is that when we allow ourselves to feel pain, disappointment and sadness completely, it fades away. In suppressing it, ignoring it and invalidating it, eventually it turns into a three headed monster, ready to be unleashed at the slightest provocation. So I will carve out the time to sit with my inner quiet observer. The part of me that has seen challenges, grief and heartbreak before. The one that stands solidly rooted in the midst of the storm, unfazed by the pain of life, connected only to divine love and the source of all that is true.