From the inside a crack is a wound; from the outside it is an opening.
So often we see our pain, especially our painful history, as a crack, a deep crevice in our heart—something that has damaged us and left its timeless mark. We can feel defined by our pain, controlled by our pain, and oftentimes stuck in in our pain.
The truth is that that none of us are immune to pain. It’s inescapable. Whether it’s a toothache or a divorce, pain is simply part of being alive.
But there is another way of seeing our pain. We can, as Mark Nepo suggests, see our pain as an opening. If we are conscious and fully present in our pain, it can become an experience in which we open to the truth and totality of our life experience. Rather than fighting the inevitable, because what is happening IS happening, we can turn around, face it, dance with it, weep with it, and allow it to soften us, open us, change us.
But this is not easy, because it requires feeling your feelings—and most of us have spent a lifetime avoiding our feelings. But only by being fully present in our experience—in all its various manifestations—can we awaken to our true nature, which is beyond this experience and this challenge and this pain.
I encourage you to look at your heart and examine your cracks. Do you see wounds or do you see openings? Perhaps those cracks are rays of sunshine, pouring in, offering hope, insight, and compassion. Be gentle with yourself—with your pain, with your process. And remember, you are already free.