Open Your Heart in Difficult Times

Should we put our spiritual practice aside and reside inside a shell of pain when we encounter difficult times? Could it be that sometimes difficulties in our life occurs to show us that something is not working any longer and we need to change our approach to life? Could it even be that the challenges we encountering gives us a wake-up call to dwell into a deeper spiritual practice?

We have all encountered difficult times in our lives due to events that affect us deeply, and may even be heart-wrenching. We could be in the middle of a devastating divorce, have experienced the profound loss of a dear one or been fired from our job. It is like the ground under our feet has been swiped away. We might believe that the universe works against us and that we will never again feel happiness.

I have many times experienced such a state of deep emotional distress. I know when my parents passed away that I felt somehow empty without feeling supported or when a women I loved deeply made the choice to take another path in life without me that I only wanted to stay in bed with tears. It is like my whole emotional body was in a state of shock. At other times I have felt betrayed by someone and I wanted to scream out in anger. All what I learned from my own spiritual practice sometimes goes out the window and I cannot see the light within any longer. My mind starts circulating around with thoughts why this is happening and fantasies arises of how the future should fix this distress.

In The Gentle Way of the Heart, I describe that it is in these times that we need to open our heart. It is here where a dedicated practice helps. Naturally if we are trained and have the discipline to work on ourselves when our life goes smoothly we know better how to practice when difficult times appears. However, some of us have felt that our life evolves so well and therefore it has not been necessary to spend time on a spiritual practice. We will all at some point in our life encounter these moments of severe challenges. For many of us it is first in these difficult times that we realize that we need to look within to deal with such a high level of distress. This can be the beginning of a spiritual calling to find answers and the willingness to transform ourselves to become more of who we really are. Often we need a trigger in our life to walk down the road towards a new approach to life and to experience that we can be born again.

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