Make your heart bigger than the hurt
Today is Valentine's Day, and you'll probably see a lot of social media posts about love and connection. Ah, roses and rainbows!!!
But today, I want to talk about conflict, pain and suffering. (Sorry about that!)
You see, caring about others requires vulnerability. It means that we open our hearts and go out on a limb, and sometimes, we get hurt.
I wish I could remember where I heard this, but recently someone said, "love leaves a scar." What they meant was that when we care about someone, we take risks and we carry our experiences into the future with us.
I'm a big fan of caring.
And I, for one, will take the scars any day over the idea of isolating myself from really knowing others and being "all in!"
But it's still hard.
Recently, a close friend and I have been adrift.
For the longest time, I didn't know what was happening but something didn't seem right.
When we finally did have a conversation, I realized that I had hurt my friend and that she was pulling away and giving herself time to heal.
Unfortunately, her pulling away behavior also had an impact. As she pulled away, I felt the pain of rejection and I started to have feelings that need some healing too.
This spiral is the demise of many relationships because things can get messy quickly.
I do something that triggers you, and then instead of repairing, you do something that triggers me.
My behavior is your trigger, and your behavior is mine.
Funny how that works.
But as I was running through the forest the other day, I realized that the real answer is to imagine that my heart is bigger than the hurt.
I imagined that my capacity to understand and forgive is in fact NOT in limited supply, but is endless and deep. (And I'm convinced this is TRUE!)
- I can stay present a little longer
- I can have a little more empathy
- I can put myself in her shoes
- And I can deal with my own feelings of rejection and isolation in ways that don't become triggers for her. (Or at least I can try.)
I'll bet we all have relationships that need healing.
I'll bet we all have a friend or family member or co-worker or neighbor who has done something that's left a scar and that we could very easily be swept into the spiral of trigger-trigger-trigger!
Today, I'll ask you to consider… Is your heart bigger than the hurt?
- Can you extend an olive branch?
- Can you say that you're sorry?
- Can you imagine their perspective?
- Can you find just a little more forgiveness in your heart?
I figure the world can always use a little more forgiveness and healing. Today is a great day to practice!