"A day is too great a force to bear without the heart open."
This is a line from a peom I read yesterday from A Year with Hafiz - Daily Contemplations (modern translation, by Daniel Ladinsky). Hafiz was a 14th century Sufi poet with some rather interesting things to say. This line really struck me as, until now, I've lived my entire life in many ways closed off and walls up. Self- protective. I expect a lot of people can relate to this.
What Hafiz was suggesting is so contradictory to how we tend to live today: with closed hearts to protect ourselves from vulnerability, from being hurt by whatever the day brings. I've since learned through meditation how healing it can be to soften up to our hurt and allow it in. Life will happen, pain will happen, no matter how high we try to build these walls and close ourselves off from it. Could we welcome the hurt in with compassionate understanding instead? Be willing to listen to it, feel it, witness it?
Here's the thing: it's the needing to make it go away that gives hurt it's power. It's not something we have to fight with or push away when we know we have the capacity to be with it instead.
Pain loses it's power to truly harm and is transformed into a force of healing and resiliency when we welcome it in and face the day with "the heart open".