Aching Heart, Wise Heart
Reflection by Mary E. Latela, January 10, 2016
There are several people who were once very important to me, but the only way I can track them is to google every once in a while. No, it’s not snooping or stalking. I call it checking in. Even though we’ve been apart for many years, there is still some kind of soul-level connection, which I really don’t understand.
We learned last week that H. has died, not recently either, over a year ago. In all honesty, my initial reaction was, who will have sympathy for me? In other words, I was aware, very aware, that this loss was loneliness come to call again. And who would care? We said our “goodbyes” in court many years ago. I never would have allowed him to hurt me again. And now I am hurting, and it’s not my fault. And even though I am holding together, the hollowness hurts so badly.
Jack Kornfield, that wonderful Buddhist teacher, does not say we should quash or deny the aching heart. He writes: “The first thing you need to do when you’ve suffered loss or betrayal is to find a way to regain your wise heart so that you can let it hold the aching of your heart.”
Where is my wise heart? After feeling numb, then feeling “out of it” for a time, I have found it! I think it is the very same heart which was so wounded that I thought I wouldn’t survive, but I did survive. The wise heart is the heart which was so empty that I thought I’d never love any one again, and I do love. My wise heart has loosened my need for security and allowed me to experience – with less fear – the ebb and flow of life – the ups and downs, the highs and lows. Even when the night is windy and dark, I know that in the dawn, the light will be different. My breath, which may be stressed, will be easier. I am gradually waking up – not to the awfulness of life, but to the awe with which life swirls around, lifts us up, and sets us down, right side up.
Quotation from Jack Kornfield: https://www.jackkornfield.com/zen-aching-heart/