The heart is a magnificent, awesome organ containing much wisdom and also bears much suffering. Our heart has everything within it for a full and satisfying life. We grow in wisdom through meeting suffering in a skillful way.
The attitude in which we meet every situation will either bring more peace, or more suffering. It’s up to us.
“Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.” There is relief!
The Buddha said that he teaches one thing and only one thing: relief from suffering.
Fear causes suffering. Jesus has said that “Perfect love casts out all fear.”
In Aramaic (the language that Jesus spoke) the word “perfect’ means “all inclusive.” In other words, how much are we willing to include as opposed to pushing away what we don’t like, trying to get rid of it?
When we are willing to open to what is happening, pushing nothing away, we experience perfection, in Jesus’ terms.
We take heart by opening to what we have previously been avoiding. There is a way to simply sit with difficult emotions, and breathe with them. That’s all.
We find they pass, dissolve—emotions cannot last more than about one and a half minutes unless we latch onto the story they are connected to, thus bringing them back again.
Our heart clears and we find we can work with whatever comes.
Yes, the thing we most don’t want to do, experience the hurts and humiliations buried in our heart, is what brings forth peace and equanimity.
Just because we haven’t found our emotions convenient to feel, or have been too overwhelmed and frightened doesn’t mean repression hasn’t been working against us. These are the buried memories and experiences—hidden in the dark places of our mind—that work underground and do their damage unconsciously.
It is not by visualizing light that we become enlightened. Instead we learn to take our own light—our attention-- into the darkness—right to the places where we have repressed what we didn’t want or didn’t know how to deal with. Through this process we open our heart to the experience of joy and contentment.
This is counter-intuitive. We embrace the shadow, the fears and buried hurts, to find our freedom.
Out of this process we find resolution to long standing problems, but this takes effort. Wisdom shows us the way through what was seemingly unpassable.
Over the years I have learned that God is not convenient, and life doesn’t follow my agenda.
Life gets easier when I let go of the struggle and allow the mysterious force that demands growth to unfold in a natural, organic way.
So the wisest thing I can do is open my heart and be compassionate toward whatever and however I am feeling at this moment.
Please read The Guest House by Rumi. It’s easy to look up on the internet. Embracing, opening to, whatever arises each day is essential.
Love is an energy that transforms all that it touches, for this is its nature. The energy of love has been evolving our world for over 13 billion years. Maybe it’s time to trust it!
Love has its own rhythm, its own timing. Love cannot be forced, but comes to us through our willingness. It is a matter of surrendering to divine love, and letting it guide.
Humility is the place where we acquiesce to that which is higher and allow ourselves to live in this grace, which has always been here for us.
We admit we don’t know the plan, and allow the skill of meeting what is in our heart to help us.
We take heart by letting go and trusting the very breath that is breathing us. It does a mighty good job of keeping us alive. What else might it do if we opened ourselves to this amazing resource? Perhaps help us relax and release what we’ve held in such a tight grip?
Relaxation and patience allow the wise heart to lead, rather than the compulsive one. Patience opens space for understanding to develop.
“If you understand, things are as they are. If you don’t understand, things still are just as they are.” A Zen saying.
I find it easiest to note any tendency to use toxic words, to judge, compare or try to divide things up between good and bad.
How can the very flow of the universe be divided up between good and bad? How can the ocean divide the waves up? It is fundamentally One Thing. That’s what universe means; One Verse. It is indivisible.
Hurt can only be relieved by finding ways to include what we have felt aversive toward, tried to push away, control or eradicate.
There is an old saying that contains much wisdom:
“They drew a circle and left me out. But love and I had the wit to win. We drew a circle and included them in.”
Inclusivity won’t hurt us; it heals. There is a gift within everyone and everything. All gifts need to be brought to the table if we are going to be whole. Nothing can be left out.
We don’t have to dance with everyone. We use wisdom in choosing our dance partners. But throwing them out of our heart will cause suffering.
Each day I notice that which irritates. Here is a pearl, waiting to come forth. And I do my best to find a way to open to it, to work with it. I continue using lovingkindness (metta) with each person.
Within the irritant I find a gem that had been unnoticed. As I go within my heart and dialogue deeply in my journal with the person or situation that has disturbed or frightened me, I find the irritant actually came with a friendly intention. As we listen to each other through dialogue answers that are mutually beneficial arise.
It’s amazing how love and openness transform!
I ask what is mine to do today. Let me do the small thing that is right here in my path. It will lead to the next, and to the next.
I’m just grateful that I can do my part.