Much of our heartache comes not from other people, but from our expectations of other people and what we feel they should bring into our lives. If our heartaches were truly caused by other people, we would have little power to heal our hurt. Healing would primarily be left to the passage of time and, even then, the big heartaches could easily be reignited. The, often unrecognised, factors which have brought about our heartache will be based on a myriad of beliefs ranging from reasonable to downright ridiculous. However, this makes no difference at all to the pain we feel because our pain is not coming from our mind but from our heart. It’s no point arguing with the heart. It doesn’t help to talk reason. The heart doesn’t even hear. It doesn’t know that language. It is instinctive – for good and bad. Whereas the mind will try and patiently think through the reasonableness of any situation, the heart is powerless to do so. The heart is all feeling and it flows from a great line of experiences and expectations, both remembered and forgotten.
The most pressing thing that we generally want from other people is a sense of love and security. It is a wonderful feeling to bask in the warmth of another’s affection, attention, and protectiveness. It is equally as un-wonderful to feel that the source of that love has, in some manner, betrayed us. Once hurt, we can go through life shutting people out or, alternatively, keeping people around but blaming them. We can close the door of our heart. However, without our heart, we become an empty shell. Perhaps, an intelligent empty shell, but empty nevertheless.
The heart carries the beat of life. It makes existence meaningful and beautiful. The heart bypasses language. It doesn’t lie. Everything moving and powerful has heart.
Blame and Love
1. The first step in healing is to take responsibility. It is to stop blaming. It is to accept that we are not a powerless victim who other people have decided to hurt for no logical reason. It is to honour that life is complex and other people may see things differently or have their own agenda. Most humans are, after all, self-centred. We can hardly blame them for that – it is the instinctive programming of the ego. Knowing this makes us wiser, safer, more patient and tolerant. We develop the capacity to heal situations which could otherwise become totally fragmented.
2. The second step in healing is to realise that there are other ways of getting what we want. Mostly, we want love. When our source of love seems to have disintegrated, instead of feeling bereft and loveless, we can choose to look for it in a different place. Most people look for it in another person – with varying success. There is another place we can go. One could say that it is in oneself, but perhaps it is more correct to say that it is in life, itself. We can work with the idea that we already are that very love we seek. We can stop peering at the outside love we are trying to seduce, cajole, intimidate or win, and focus elsewhere. What love can I find within? What love can I give? The heart-hole will heal when we stop looking at it.
Opening one’s heart to love and healing always carries risk. One can be sure of sorrow, but one can also be sure of happiness and peace. The more we give from our heart, the bigger it becomes. It will be able to carry more love, even if that also means carrying some pain. We gain courage to endure sorrow, knowing that it will pass. We also gain perspective, knowing that human joy must be gratefully taken when it is offered. In the end, love is all that matters. It has the power to heal and the power to transform. It gives us a surprising strength and adds a beauty to life that is more touching and more pure than any other thing that life could possibly offer.