Healing the heart
An article by Anando published in the italian Osho Times
Actually the real heart, the energetic heart, cannot be healed, because it cannot be hurt. It is always undisturbed and peaceful.
When we refer to a ‘broken heart’, we are talking about a physical sensation in the body which is caused by certain thoughts – for example, that our partner doesn’t love us any more, or loves someone else instead. It is actually the ego that is hurt, not the heart.
Thoughts like these, and the feelings they provoke, are very painful, and so we armor ourselves as a protection. This armor is like a wall we build up around our heart. We ‘close’ our hearts in the mistaken belief that the heart is the problem. It is not.
Our dreams are the problem. Our ideas that we cling to about how things should be – that is the problem. We had a Hollywood happy-ever-after dream, and it ended. And our ego doesn’t want to accept the fact that our dreams have been shattered. It doesn’t want to face the reality. Have you noticed how the mind goes on feeding the wounds of a ‘broken heart’ by endlessly running the story of what happened to us. Endlessly chewing on the ‘What if’s’. Like a tongue constantly returning to the hole left by a tooth that was removed by the dentist. It just can’t let it go, can it?
That is why it is very difficult to let go completely of the people who we feel have ‘hurt’ us. We either go on carrying an illusion that the love will somehow miraculously be rekindled, that the other will see the light and come back to us, or we carry hate and revenge against them. We may think we have cut them out of our lives, but every time we see them or hear about them, we have an emotional reaction. And despite our best endeavors, they keep coming back into our thoughts whenever we are feeling vulnerable or lonely.
Whether we are waiting for them to come back or have cut them off, either way we are burdened – either way we are not free to find another love. Either way we have put up some kind of wall around our heart.
Hope is a terrible thing… waiting for the impossible to happen eats away not only at our loving feelings and openness, but also at our self-esteem and confidence. And when we make someone into an enemy, it hurts us – it hurts to close ourselves off from our hearts, which is what we do when we block someone out.
The only way to really let someone go, and thus be free to get on with our lives, is with gratitude for what they did give us. Or at least with a focus on appreciating their good qualities, rather than harping on their bad ones. This is not at all easy for the mind, the ego, which would much rather stay with blame and complaint. But it is not difficult for the heart, for the energetic heart.
The heart has the capacity to see the positive, even in someone whom the mind can only see as a monster. That is because the heart doesn’t compare and doesn’t have ideals. It doesn’t have dreams or hopes. It simply sees the present reality, without judging. Judging is a quality of the mind, not the heart, because it requires comparison.
Because the heart is not involved in the stories the mind spins, it can see more clearly. It can see that the other person has been acting unconsciously, even though they may not be aware of it. For their own unconscious reasons, they were unable to give you what you wanted from them. Unlike the mind, or ego, the heart doesn’t take this personally. It understands that that person has their own problems, their own vulnerability and their own limits that make them behave the way they do. And that has nothing to do with you. Their behavior is their way of covering up their own wounds, fears and needs. With that understanding, compassion arises. And with that compassion, you can finally let that person go and find peace for yourself.
It takes tremendous courage to shift from the mind to the heart and have this perspective, but if you are fed up with feeling the walls around your heart, and really want to feel your heart flowing freely again, then you can give this a try.
It is not a matter of forgiveness. If the other person has treated you badly, then it is important to leave the responsibility for that with them, and let them take the consequences. This process is something just for you – to allow you to let go of this situation that has been hanging over you, and get on with your life feeling lighter and unburdened.
The process is not just for healing wounds you are carrying from lovers, but for anyone you are holding grudges against, or judgments about. It may be someone alive or dead, someone present in your life or from the past, someone in your family or someone from your work. It doesn’t matter – as long as we carry grudge against someone, that person goes on haunting us in a way – we give them power over us. We are not free.
This process is about cleaning up our lives and becoming free of these burdens.