Heartbreak, be it environmental, political, professional, financial, romantic, or familial, is one of the most intense, spiritual experiences a human can have. My first professional heartbreak made me do things my mind could never have imagined, while my more recent, soulmate heartbreak, led to discovering what unconditional love really means. Heartbreak is life’s way of breaking us open to something greater than ourselves. The best thing we can do is let it.
Most of us come into this world with our hearts wide open and slowly over time, as life happens we build up armor to protect ourselves from the ever-changing, unfolding of our lives. Usually around six or seven life happens, from the mundane to the traumatic, and we experience a deep sense of separation. Some call it a veil. Once it drops we forget our original innocence and spend the next 20 years or so trying to strategize against the possibility of pain instead of learning how to open, feel, and harness it.
Instead of allowing the latest bombing in Syria or school shooting to fling us into a righteous, intellectual defense of our position, let’s let it pierce through the illusion of separation that inspires the violence in the first place. Let it break apart the judgements we hold against ourselves and others and inspire us to love. Sound like hippie nonsense? Try it. The space just beyond the annihilated heart is where we find infinite creativity to play a different game in this world. Every bad guy, unless they are straight-up psychotic, has a heartbreak to point to that led to their pathology, fury, and misunderstanding of the “other.”
Byron Katie places the mirror directly in front of her own face. She shows us how the war out there is also in here. She asks, “Can I just end the war in me? Can I stop raping myself and others with my abusive thoughts and actions? Otherwise I’m continuing through me the very thing I want to end in the world. I start with ending my own suffering, my own war. This is a life’s work.”
While we are signing petitions and ranting on Facebook, let's also take responsibility for the war we are waging within.