But somewhere along the way, many people lose sight of the beauty of this gift. Our society teaches us to search for joy and avoid sorrow, without realizing there is joy to be found in every feeling. Fear takes us because we think we must avoid or resist what we consider unpleasant. But every feeling is meant to be fully experienced. And avoidance or resistance does not cure unpleasantness in the human heart. It stores it.
Because of this, many people go for years, or perhaps their whole lives, with a heart stocked full of pain. They may even be consciously unaware of it. Most of us are taught this way as if it is the only way.
What happens when a heart is stocked full of unpleasantness? In one scenario, you simply find an unhappy, unpleasant person. They just live it. In another, you find a person with an internal battle. They feel they must appear happy because it is expected. They hide the pains in their heart to appear “normal”. And then we have legions of people walking around, not experiencing the beauty of Love because they either live their pain or their drama.
And then, one day, a magical thing happens. The heart begins to open to Love. This feels wonderful. At first. And it is. It’s the most brilliant happening in Existence. Cherish it.
In opening to Love, we open to All That Is. That includes everything that is blissful, wonderful, and joyous. It also includes the pains and sorrows of Existence. Pains and sorrows don’t disappear because our hearts are full of love. In fact, an open heart will often feel these pains more acutely. This can come as a shock to the newly opened heart. What? I opened to LOVE, not PAIN! The truth is that Love is only Love when it embraces all, and that includes the ouchie parts of everything.
Moreover, now that the heart is open, often that old, stocked up pain will come out. What? MORE pain? Screw this Love business. Seriously, when we first begin to open our heart and find pain, there can be a HUGE impetus to close it back up. If it happens to you, simply stay with it. Allow it. Embrace it. The opened heart begins to understand the beauty of feeling All and is willing to embrace the All. The open heart is willing to be vulnerable. There is great strength in this. The heart does not have to be perfect. It cannot exclude any feeling and still be Love. And so the opened heart, it welcomes All.
This is not to seek or hold on to pain. It is the opposite. It is to look at the pain that already exists or the pain the comes. It is to greet it with the Love of the open heart. This simple allowing of any pain, new or old, has the power to transform our demons. They may or may not go away. (We cannot do this just to get pains to go away — that is a trick of the mind.) But they no longer hold as much power over us. We see the pains. We make friends with them. Because we recognize that we have hurts, we allow energy and space to nurture the parts of our selves that hurt. This is a very beautiful way to live.
Often, we realize that new pains are just reflections of old pains. When we apply Love to the old pains, new pains are understood and transformed. We begin to see the lies we have been living. A lie is simply any place in our life where we are living anything but Love for our Selves (which includes the All). And what an immense gift to be shown these places. When these places are enlightened with Love, the heart expands and allows more Love to pass through it. We cherish the beauty in ALL feeling. And this expansion happens infinitely. There is always more Love. <3