A Broken-open Heart & Returning Voice

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
- Rumi

My voice is back...

In this process I lost so much more than my voice.  I lost my habit of staying trapped in fear and resisting being the love that I am.

After a two and a half month retreat, I am able once again to speak on the phone, greet people on the trails and I am no longer asked if I have laryngitis when going through the check-out at Thrifty’s. In losing my voice, I have been “invited” to listen at a new, deeper and much more profound level.

This process continues to be so humbling...

Every time someone said, “What did you say?” or “Sorry, what was that?” or “What?” it was another invitation to go deeper.  Initially it drove me mad.  I felt incensed, unimportant, irrelevant and without value.  I was afraid that I would never be heard again.  I was afraid that no one would notice that I existed.  I was afraid that I didn’t exist.

...and then I went deeper.

I began to listen... to the abundance and prolific nature of my own thoughts.  I became present to these thoughts.  I just listened.

...really heard them.

I'm realizing how often I’m tuning into what someone else is saying or expressing, but filtering it through thoughts that I am completely unaware of having.  I'm realizing how often I speak, instead of listening.  I'm realizing that speaking for me has become a way to control or direct an interaction, coming from a fearful ego and mind.

...so then I went even deeper than that.

And I just cracked open.

I became intimately aware of and connected with the beating of another’s heart. 

It’s just so human to be a fragile and vulnerable human.  It’s just so human to feel.  We truly ARE love.

But we’re most often in fear...

In the past, as I listened to someone else speak and express, through their movements, their emotions or their ideas, I felt fear or anxiety.  I tuned into the places where their heart (my heart) cried for justice, recognition, understanding, validation, love and compassion.

I looked for the places where I felt a sense of powerlessness.  A sense of lack.  A place where their voice was limited and then I tried to fill in the gap. I would insert myself and my own perceived “not enough” and try to become more fulfilled and more important by being needed and heard.

Now, all I can hear is the heart’s ache...

And it just sounds beautiful to me.

It sounds real and authentic.

And I’m so in awe of its power and grace.

“An analogy for bodhicitta (awakening mind) is the rawness of a broken heart. Sometimes this broken heart gives birth to anxiety and panic, sometimes to anger, resentment, and blame. But under the hardness of that armor there is the tenderness of genuine sadness. This is our link with all those who have ever loved. This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great compassion. It can humble us when we’re arrogant and soften us when we are unkind. It awakens us when we prefer to sleep and pierces through our indifference. This continual ache of the heart is a blessing that when accepted fully can be shared with all.”

- Pema Chodron