Hi there again......
I hope this entry finds you well.
Opening our hearts to love also opens our hearts to pain. We know this intuitively, we know it from experience, we don’t need to read it anywhere.
Sure we may have had a few, or perhaps many experiences of pain when we opened our hearts to love, or anticipated love. And sure…..it’s real, it hurts, it can send us to dark places, keep us from being involved with others (at least for a while), even our own lives, be the trigger for alienation and isolation, and so on.
But here is something to consider.
Is it opening our hearts to love that causes the pain?
Or could it be a whole other set of variables that we were uninitiated to, that was the trigger? By uninitiated, I mean….we were young and unworldly…..we could not see past opening our hearts and immediately associating pain with it.......if our expectations were not met. Sometimes that "youngness" or "naivite" stays with us into our adulthood until we are in fact initiated into our own wisdom, our own worldliness.
For example…..lets take a teenager, age 15. She falls in love with a school mate of a differing race and religion. He reciprocates these feelings with poems and love letters at school and they are both sure of their feelings. It’s new, exciting, warm, comforting……safe and secure. After some time, the fellow calls to say he is coming to visit after her surgery. He comes to her door, with a new poem and one flower, but she won’t let him in. She explains that her parents won’t let him in because of his race and religion.
TheIn that moment, the racing thoughts are that there is no possible future for the two of them. He feels judged, hurt, rejected, not only by her parents, but now by her, because in his thinking…..she has sided with them by not letting him in.. He feels alone in this unnecessary conflict. Surely love trumps all this? She, in turn, feels bad because she does not share her parents views, but feels powerless in her wish to defy their position. They both have a new experience of love……it hurts!!!
These types of experiences begin to trigger the innate self-protective mechanism to guard against future similar experiences. If we have enough of these "types" of experiences, we might find ourselves closed off from taking risks in the are of love, or vulnerability in general.
The variables involved in this scene are mindset, religious and cultural wiring, gender power, youth and its relative power to parents/adults, and so on. They are young and dependent upon their parents for survival….defying her parents involves great risk to that instinct. She is also very emotionally connected to her parents and their “story” of surviving annihilation of their race, and to stand up against them, would entail a betrayal her young mind is not prepared for. She is also a female in a traditional home…..and here again, challenging gender roles and power would open up a conflict that a 15 year old is unprepared for.
So here is the rest of the story…..despite this experience, he continues to give her poems at school. The romantic love wanes, but the fundamental base of love does not, as both know it is not themselves that stand in the divide, but the dependence upon their parents for survival that prevents them from taking a stronger stand.
And here is the point……..
It is not opening our hearts that hurts, it is not love that hurts…..
What did hurt were the judgements, assumptions, and the fears that are carried over through generations of culture, religion, race…..however you decide it…..that created the divide. Through this young couples persistence to continue the expression of their feelings for one another, despite the hurt, testifies to the benefits of keeping an open heart. The important life lessons learned….. that they can stand apart from the values they do not share, that the larger society will not dictate their inner truth, that love see’s past differences, past fears and hurt. And they become initiated into the complexities of “relationship”, love relationships and otherwise. They also become initiated into their truth vs the larger truth of any set of groups or society at large, and what they wish to do about it once their personal power is fully developed.
Furthermore, they have created an experience, specifically their continued expression of love….contributing to their resiliency in the world of trust, love, faith, persistence, taking a stand for their truth…..etc. Resiliency is created by exposure to hardship. And resiliency is a necessary variable in living a full and joyous life.
If you are finding yourself with a closed off heart......know that you are doing this to protect yourself from a particular belief about the world, about lovers, family, colleagues…..
Discover, at a deeper level,
And you don’t have to go it alone…..we are not solitary creatures by nature. We find comfort and solace in shared experiences, shared world views……
Find the supports to help you heal. Find the supports that nurture your shared values. A community of like-hearted people can transform your life in great ways. Sharing your story with someone, with a different set of lenses…..who can walk through it with you, can make all the difference in creating a supportive mindset around opening your heart again.
Until next time ……
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