The light won’t quit permeating the wound walled up in our heart. Reinforcing the wall delays healing and makes it tougher.

There are really only two choices we have once wounding occurs.

  1. Open to it.
  2. Close to it.

The norm is to close to it. This is the well-worn path. We think this will prevent us feeling the pain there. Keeping it secret means others won’t know. We can bypass it and keep moving. As long as we maintain composure, we will be fine.

This mode of thinking is erroneous. If our heart is wounded and we wall it up, the wound has nowhere to go.

Let’s address what a ‘wound’ is before continuing. A wound is a trauma or hurt that has left a ‘scar’.

Physically we understand how this happens and what it is. Emotionally, mentally, and spiritually it’s much less clear. The wounds our psyche carries are stumbling blocks, confusing and diminishing us in so many ways.

It’s important to realize that the hurt or trauma doesn’t need to be ‘big’ to leave its mark. The normal thinking is: My life’s been fairly normal, nothing disastrous has happened to me, I have a good family and friends, I must be okay.

The truth is birth leads to wounding. This can’t be avoided, nor should it be. Being born into the world comes with suffering. Whether it’s big or small, suffering is inherent to life.

Suffering is the shadow of divine light, and its embedded divinity inspires the ultimate harmony.

— T. Byram Karasu

The light always permeates. If our heart is walled in, there will be unneeded friction. What’s walled in is often minimized. We have a way of taking pain for granted that ends up hurting us even more. Rather than feel pain, we hide it. It’s easier to be numb when the pain is put away. But it doesn’t go away. Little woundings accumulate because they’re not acknowledged and processed. These add up to big woundings. Actual large woundings don’t even have a chance if the little ones aren’t handled.

We have to form the habit of noticing hurt as it occurs and not put bricks around it. We also have to sit with the hurt, be with the hurt. This is perhaps more important than even noticing the hurt, because eventually the hurt will demand notice. That’s why suffering and brickwork don’t go well together! We can hide pain all we want, build all kinds of structures over and around it, its going to find ways to get your attention, and tenaciously. This is so for our own good.

A lot of scarring can actually be prevented by our advocacy for ourselves regarding the hurts life has in store. This means being and remaining open. It means bringing down the walls we’ve raised around our wounded heart, to let the light of healing enter. We can protect our heart better by opening it. The more we defend our heart, the more we have to defend it. Let’s open it instead. Then we can place appropriate boundaries.

If you let your heart be moved, be open to the risk and the adventure of feelings, letting them work through to completion, you will change.  Tears turn into smiles, anger into embraces.

— Gabrielle Roth

Keeping our suffering locked away gives it no breathing room to be transformed. It also gives us too much familiarity with it, familiarity without distance. We become embroiled with our wounds and this kind of familiarity leads to the notion that the hurt is ours: “This pain belongs to me. It’s mine.”

We’re responsible for how we respond to life’s unsavory offerings, but these hurts aren’t personal. When pain is personalized, it becomes much more solid and real to us. We believe it belongs.

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

We can’t make suffering our biography. We’re vaster than our biography, and even within the scope of it we’re multifaceted, with many other strong storylines that are enriched by wounds, but not defined by them.


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Is Your Heart a Walled Garden?