A Reawakening of the Heart: How I Found Joy Within the Depths of Grief

I would say I went through my first heart awakening (or perhaps manic/hypo-manic episode – still not sure) when I was fifteen years old.

One day, I woke up and my heart was as wide open as the sky. I felt connected to everything around me. I was seeing life through the eyes of love and joy.

But I was young and naive, and not only did my spiritual heart open without any grounding or mature spiritual guidance, at the first sign of distress I shut it down, completely, and fell into a hellish depression where being numb, empty and deeply disconnected were my only reality for years to come.

A slight re-opening occurred one day and bit my bit my depression began to fade away as I let go into life a little more, let my mind quiet a bit and allowed my now-guarded heart to open with much more earthly wisdom than I possessed as a teenager.

Then a few years ago, someone I love deeply, was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and it was spreading, everywhere. He is gone from this earth now.

I had been crying a lot and it was a new feeling to me because although I had experienced the loss of loved ones before I couldn’t really cry or feel how much it hurt, and I mean it really hurt me as though someone had bulldozed me square in the chest.

I think it was early morning, I was lying in my bed after heaving sobs from my body, and I felt my heart wanting to close again, but, having become more in tune with myself, I consciously and gently allowed myself to keep it open, even though it hurt, and it hurt like hell.

Seemingly out of nowhere, through snot, a smudgy face, hair stuck on my cheek and puffy eyes I heard an eagle calling in the distance. This instantly filled my heart to the brim with such deep joy, a joy that is admittedly indescribable.

In that moment I realised there was some kind of beauty in my suffering. That the grief I was allowing myself to experience had become a rebirth of my heart and had deepened my capacity to love.

I felt that this place, strangely enough, is where all is encompassed, where unconditional love arises, and without fully feeling my pain, I simply realised that I wouldn’t be able to fully feel my joy either.

My heart broke open and I learned how to love again; I finally truly understood the quote by Rumi where he wrote, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.”

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