Still inspired by Hafiz's poem, "A Day Too Great a Force" and the line within, "A day is too great a force to bear without the heart open". Of course further inquiry leads to the question, "What exactly does it take to open the heart?" And how do we become willing to be vulnerable to the force of the day - to whatever it might bring?
Well, one thing to contemplate in answering these questions is yet another question: "What leads us to feel we can't handle life in the first place?" Obviously there's no single answer to this, but a sense of safety and self-trust, I think, are key. Some of us have been nourished, for whatever reason, in such a way as to feel naturally self-secure. But this is certainly not always the case.
For many of us, especially women, we're taught to be full of self-doubt and self-judgement, even self-hatred. There's no safety in hate and criticism, in saying "no" to who and what we are as we are. But when we meditate we learn to be with all of this - all the self-talk (the good, the bad, and the ugly). We learn to really hear ourselves, not in judgement, but simply hear what's being said and listen to what we need. The simple act of listening to and being with ourselves sends a message to the ego: "I'm here and I'm safe with myself." And this in turn nourishes a sense of safety in vulnerability, in openness to life and all it may bring.