In The Road Less Traveled, Scott Peck starts out with this truth bomb: “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.”
Thich Nhat Hanh says, “When you learn how to suffer, you suffer much less. Happiness, then, is the art of suffering well.”
And I’ve said, over and over again, that heartbreak and heart opening are the same, it’s just one we’ve decided shouldn’t be happening.
Asking questions, living awake, hell just being a living, breathing human will inevitably bring us to moments where our knees hit the floor; where we will be asked to shed another layer of skin as we move into something more aligned, honest and truthful in our lives.
It is only through a thousand tiny deaths that we can welcome the next level of goodness that that aches to come through us in our lives.
Therefore, it is not that “pain” means you are doing something wrong, but rather that you are being asked to move into or out of something, and you have a choice –– do you answer the call, or keep doing what you’ve always been doing?
Suffering, then, is when you are ignoring the grief that has to happen as you learn to let go.
Grief doesn’t just happen when we let go of people.
It happens anytime we are confronted with letting go of a part of ourselves: an old belief, addiction, or toxic pattern that doesn’t serve us anymore; that we can’t bring with us if we want to step into something bigger, more alive, and more loving in our lives.
I used to unknowingly avoid the pain and grief inherent in being human through well-adapted avoidance techniques like chronic positive thinking, spiritual bypassing, and by getting caught in the vast network and webbing of obsessive thoughts and ego analyzation
As a result of avoiding bone-deep heartbreak, I had no access to vulnerable and profound joy, love and connection either.
As deeply sensitive and empathetic souls, we learn how to shut ourselves off from pain and sorrow mostly as a coping and survival skill, mostly unknowingly, and mostly to no fault of our own. As Life is never short on the messages that we are safe, secure, and loved when we are in control, happy, and inspired.
The problem is this disembodiment and dissociation are the perfect storms for a lack of self-compassion, self-connection, and self-trust which breed stagnation, inertia, and toxicity in our lives.
I move through grief more regularly now, than I ever did.
It’s not that I wear grief like a badge of honor. I don’t wallow in sorrow. But I allow myself to see, meet, and be with all of My Self, with all of the feelings, with all of the emotions, as I get curious, lean in and ask “what else do you want to tell me?” “I’m here and I’m showing up for you.”
When we drop the avoidance techniques, and the addictions and the self-made furnace of fury; when we stop obsessing over our thoughts and our egos, we discover the gifts of grief’s medicine: she is not here to torture us, she’s here to remind us of what really matters.
She messes with our focus and forces us to slow down so we can face ourselves. She helps us get out of our own way and assists us in letting go so that we are left with nothing but the raw material of life: deep, open, vulnerable, tender, human connection.
This is the charnel ground for heart opening alchemy. Where dark meets light. Where being broken leads to being open. Where messy meets unconditional love. Where death meets rebirth and resurrection.
This is how we release and rebuild anew, hopefully from a place of deeper compassion, acceptance, and appreciation for ourselves, and as a result for our human connection with others.
Don’t resist anything you are going through. Show up, stand up, witness your own process.
Being broken eventually leads to being open. The cracks are how the light gets in.
You will survive like you’ve survived everything else that has come before this moment now.
Heartbreak and heart opening are the same, it’s just one we’ve decided shouldn’t be happening.
All Love, All Truth.