As I was sitting in meditation this morning, my thoughts drifted to the week ahead and this experience of excitement washed over me. Next week, I get to see my family, and spend an entire week with my nieces Emma (2 1/2) and Abby (5 months). My thoughts drifted to Emma, her big blue eyes and blond hair, her smile, her laugh, and the incredible joy she (and her baby sister) bring to all of us. As I had these thoughts, an experience of joy rose up from the base of my back (first chakra) all the way to my heart (fourth chakra) and I experienced my heart chakra open wide and these sensations of happiness, joy, and love pumped into my heart like blood pumping into a heart chamber.
I then remembered a time, a little over three years ago, sitting on the same green chaise lounge I was sitting on this morning, being overwhelmed with grief, sadness, my heart feeling as though it was broken. My three-week old nephew Zachary had died, unexpectedly and suddenly, and my heart was heavy. It felt like it had been shattered into pieces as I grieved not only for myself, but for my family. I remembered conversations with my family during that time and I wondered, will we ever feel any different then we do now? It seemed impossible to think that in the midst of this brokenness and heaviness that I would ever be happy and free again. I remember even wondering, if there would be any more children coming into our family. Two months after Zachary died, my sister-in law discovered she was pregnant and Emma was born the same year as Zachary.
Always searching for the greater meaning, lesson or opportunity in situations, particularly in the challenging ones, during that time, I kept asking why. Why did that happen? What was the purpose of Zachary’s short life? The answer that came to me when I sat with that question was “To crack your heart open.”
“To crack your heart open” resonated with me. I organized myself around not feeling pain and made choices to avoid risk. I simply couldn’t bring myself to give my heart to anything or anyone coming off the heels of my nephew dying, losing my job and ending a relationship within months of each other. And while my mind kept telling me that it was “safer this way,” I felt dead. My experience of life was as though I was somehow sleep walking, and I was suffering because I knew I was allowing my fear to get the best of me. I even went into the next dating relationship not being fully willing to surrender my heart. And, not surprisingly, during much of that relationship, my experience was, that a deep heart connection that I longed for, was missing.
When we experience loss…loss of a loved one, or the ending of a relationship or even the loss of work…our heart can feel as though it’s broken…and sometimes even shattered into pieces. I know mine did during that time and has after a breakup. I remember the pain and heart ache I felt after my first significant relationship ended many years ago. The emotion was so intense, that for a long time after that, I didn’t want to fall in love, as I had made this association that love equaled pain and suffering and I did my best to avoid feeling that again.
The impact to those experiences can be that we want to close our heart, to protect it. To do anything to not feel the intense emotions and possibility of pain that one might experience that is part of the human condition. The mind thinks and comes to associate something “negative” with the feeling, emotion or a sense of “danger” and wants to avoid it. The reptilian part of our brain is designed for those fight or flight moments of danger. However, when we condition and organize ourselves to avoid the pain, we also rob ourselves and others of experiencing love and connection.
The first part of this year, I spent time taking an experiential transformational training program with a company in Orange county called WorldWorks, to reconnect to the vision that I had for my life that had me move to LA. Taking the time for this exploration profoundly altered the core of my being and how I experience life. How I best describe it when people ask how it was, is “my heart cracked wide open.” I stopped spending time and energy trying to sew my heart back together and allowed it to expand with all the room the cracks had allowed for.
There is pureness that radiates from Emma, and from Abby too, at her tender age of 5 months on this planet. They are both happy, joyful little girls who are pure love and each moment is fresh for them. When I think of them or look at them, I experience the little miracles that they both are. In those times of such intense sadness, I never imagined that I could love so fully and deeply as I do these two incredible little beings. I feel so blessed to be their Auntie and they teach me so much about love, play, what’s truly important and that being present for life’s precious moments is what “being successful” means.
My experience of life continues to get deeper as I allow my heart chakra to stay open and expand for all of it…happiness, sadness, joy, pain, fear, love. By allowing myself to be vulnerable, my compassion and connection to others has deepened and so has my ability to simply love people. It shows up in how I be in business, with friends, with the people I love and even with complete strangers I meet. The conversations I’m having with people are new and fresh and life seems a little crisper. When I simply be love, I feel alive and there is a ripple effect all around from that energy being extended towards others. What I’m learning is the lesson that all of the great ascending masters came here to teach us…be love.
Consider this – What if those “painful” experiences are simply moments that pierce and “crack” our heart chakra open wider to allow our capacity to experience love expand? To let our light out. To enable us to experience joy and happiness. To allow us to have that joy, happiness and love to flow from us to others and to experience the deep human connection that we all long for.
Be Love…what do you have to lose?