our tendency, our pattern is to avoid our heartbreak, our fear, our discomfort at all costs.
a relationship ends, a job is lost, a loved one becomes ill, the world is spinning out of control and we react. sometimes we grasp at the next person or possible relationship, at every little thing that promises good health. sometimes we attack aggressively to protect ourselves. and sometimes we avoid at all costs, “ignorance is bliss.”
these ways of reacting to what makes us feel uncomfortable in life – grasping, aggression, ignorance (also sometimes called greed, hatred, and delusion) are what we call in Buddhism, the Three Poisons. they perpetuate suffering – the very thing we are desperately trying to avoid in our patterns of reactions. the antidote to these poisons is a broken heart, an open heart. and the only way to give our hearts a shot at being open and opening wider – building its capacity to be with life – is to allow our hearts to break.
ugh, right? who wants to do that? not most of us, which is why we can look around and see ourselves and other hurt people jumping from one relationship to another, see ourselves and other hurt people trying a new fad diet or health claim one after another, see ourselves and other hurt people aggressively attacking “friends” on social media who have opposing views, or even simply wanting social media to return to cat memes and name games, because it has gotten too “political.”
but the truth is, our discomfort will not go away with the next person in our bed, or the loss of a certain number of pounds, or getting that last word in, or turning off the tv/computer and pretending the world isn’t burning. none of these will make a difference if we can’t sit still and allow our discomfort to break open our heart, to open it, to teach us. a broken heart, an open heart allows our love to be free.
Pema Chödrön wrote a book titled, “The Wisdom of No Escape.” I love this little phrase. it is counter intuitive to our habitual pattern of running away, running through, and going to war with ourselves and others.
can we see that we need not go to war? that we are inherently strong enough, courageous enough to not only be with our pain, but to allow our love to heal it?
we must learn to sit with ourselves and our discomfort, gently and compassionately allowing our hearts to break open and our love to flow, if we want to be free. this is our life calling us to awaken.
stay with it…