We all have grief in our hearts, whether it’s grief over something unfolding right now, as we speak, or grief over something that happened long ago, or even grief over the state of the world, the suffering of humanity and of our Mother Earth and all her creatures.
And this time appears to be particularly intense for many people. Whatever may be going on in your own personal life, the energies of the times conspire to bring your process forward, in your face, unavoidable at last.
“We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.” Winston Churchill
This is a time of profound grief for me about an ongoing crisis in the life of someone I love. One day I realized my heart was not online. Subconsciously, without even noticing, I had apparently pulled it offline seeking to protect myself from all the pain.
“I can’t find my heart,” I said to myself. “I can’t feel into it.” I felt flat. What to do?
I just sat with that realization and flat feeling. Then I sat some more.
The Heart Journey
Happiness is an inside job, I remembered. Where was my happy heart? So I went looking for it.
On my journey I met fellow travelers, how-can-you-be-happy-when-your-loved-one-is-suffering? I met if-only-I’d-done-this-or-that and my personal big boogieman if-I-don’t-save-him-he’ll-die.
Aargh! My gut knotted up.
You may meet different travelers on your own journey, but it’s the same journey. Even if you can feel your heart, is it as full as you know it can be?
“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung
In conversation with a friend about her own life, I found myself quoting myself, “When other people do things we don’t like, it is always their pain and wounding talking”.
From something small, like they said something that hurt our feelings, to something large, like abuse, if you pay attention under the din of your own emotions you can hear them shouting, “I hurt. I’m in pain. I’m deeply wounded.”
Suddenly I saw, my own inner voice that was tormenting me on my journey, it too was saying, “I hurt. I’m in pain. I’m deeply wounded.”
It’s not really about right or wrong. It’s about a call for compassion and love. And when it’s your own inner voice speaking, it’s a call for self-love.
Restore Your Heart
And now I knew how to restore my heart.
I thought of the power of words. Once when I was out walking, I came across a wooden bench into which was carved, all across the back, the word, LOVE. Walking a little further I saw another bench, KINDNESS. My heart swelled in response, just seeing these words…so powerful.
I thought of the Dalai Lama saying, “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
I thought of the ancient Hawaiian healing technique, Ho’oponopno, made famous by Dr. Hew Len who healed all the inmates in a mental institution by feeling into, “I love you. Thank you.”
Yes, the answer was to tap into my protected heart and just love it up. To treat myself throughout the day with kindness and compassion.
At first I couldn’t get in at all. My heart was so closed up. I prayed, “May my heart let me in, that others may know they too can get back in when they’ve inadvertently shut down from their pain.”
Ah, so often we can do for others what we’re unable to do for ourselves. My heart rose to the occasion and I could once again feel it and pepper it with Ho’oponopono, “I love you. Thank you.”
This is not about avoiding the pain, the grieving. No, it’s about being so gentle with your dear, sweet self.
It’s about being present with your Self, drawing solace from Divine Presence in the process. Otherwise we forget and think we’re here all alone. We forget and think life is about events and how they affect us.
We are always held tenderly by guidance, if we will only stop long enough to connect in and hear. No need to protect my heart; myself and my loved one, we are only being provided with an opportunity to rise to the next level.
“….my heart leaped to the rapture of living.” Helen Keller
Restore Your Heart Meditation (11 min. )