A Fragile Heart

Most of us have experienced relationships that leave us feeling frustrated, confused, and exhausted. We love someone, but are in tune with the knowledge that the relationship is no longer serving our higher intention. Most likely, it is not serving theirs either. We struggle with feelings of discomfort and tension when having to engage with them. It is obvious that there is resistance and an energetic disconnect. We wish it could be different, but no matter how hard we try there is continuous misfiring that can feel like personal attacks. We get frustrated, maybe even angry, and find ourselves disconnecting.

I have had this experience in a few relationships throughout my life. I recently encountered someone that brought these feelings back up for me and I was left with this sense of being at a loss and quite curious about why. As I engaged with this person, I could feel that energetic disconnect, those feelings of tension and discomfort. As I reflected, I became very clear that those feelings were not coming from me, yet the experience kept pulling at my heart. What was it that I was sensing? I knew there was a lesson here and wisdom to be found.

As I sat in a quiet space, I was suddenly flooded with the thought that what I was sensing from this old friend was a closed heart. It hit me like a freight train because in that moment, I realized that this was a heart I knew well. This was a heart that I had for many years lived with, closed off and guarded, afraid of the world. In that moment, my own heart filled with compassion, all of the frustration and tension dissolving away. In that moment I saw a reflection of me, an image of the way others must have experienced me in the past. Having done the work to open my heart, I was now able to experience this person with love and compassion instead of anger and frustration.

When a person’s heart is closed, we often perceive them as having a hardened heart. We meet their walls of resistance with our own armor and weapons. Our ego is sure to remind us to protect ourselves and keep our guard up. In reality, the opposite is true.

A closed heart is not a hardened heart. A closed heart is a fragile heart, so in fear of pain that it must put up walls of protection. So fragile that it feels as though, at any moment, it might break. A closed heart does not need to be met with walls and armor, rather, a closed heart needs to be met with love and compassion. If we can find a way to see beyond the difficulty to a person’s fragility, rather than seeing them as hardened, we make space for allowing and for growth.

There are many relationships in which the answer truly is to let go and say goodbye. Having to say goodbye to someone you love is a difficult and painful process no matter how you look at it. Perhaps though, by opening our hearts with compassion to this sense of a fragile heart, we can say goodbye without shutting doors and building walls. Perhaps we can disengage with love and understanding, and allow one another to experience their own unique life journey.

We are all on our own paths, finding our way through struggle and suffering. We have all experienced pain and, at some point or another, have had our own version of a fragile heart. Let us somehow see one another through loving eyes, even in these most difficult moments, so that we can greet each situation with compassion and a true act of love.

Photo Credit: Flickr user burnsean “tabor heart” – Creative Commons 2.0 license