What breaks your heart?

Everyday, if we allow ourselves, we are going to experience a full range of emotions; some intense, others minor and insignificant. And some of them are felt deeply and mindfully in true presence and awareness.

Others are reactions–habitual, triggered. And many them we experience in a flash. If we are not careful, we are dragged back into–and mired in–a regretful past; love lost, opportunities missed, silly mistakes, personal slights, envy and so on. On the other end of the spectrum we can easily be set adrift in worries of an impossible to know or control future. If you are anything like me, sometimes that means grasping the wheel that much tighter, radically overestimating our power.

At other times, when the feelings become too intense, we employ anger to mask them or turn inwards with deflection, self-loathing, avoidance and numbing. It often seems easier to occupy our worried, shame-driven minds by protecting our egos or distracting ourselves with mindless activities and pointless concerns.

If we’re feeling jealousy, the need to win, the urge to lash out, the desire to be right, there is a good chance we are in reaction, operating from a place of a wounded or needy ego.

If we find ourselves compulsively fascinated by reality TV, compelled to stay abreast of the latest comings and goings of celebrities, or merely repeating the same unworkable habits over and over, it’s likely we are avoiding the real work of the soul.

Once we go deeper, once we clearly see what breaks our heart, not in the romantic sense, but from a perspective rooted in understanding what substantively challenges our capacity to express our worldly unconditional love, extend compassion freely, act generously, live out our purpose joyfully and celebrate our shared humanity and connection.

When we comprehend what breaks out hearts we also get the keys to what lifts our spirits and drives how we truly wish to be in the world.

Whether we get upset by fighting things outside of our control (reality) or the random activities of people that have no bearing on anything substantive in our lives ( reality TV), the result is the same.

There is nothing wrong with accepting that this is just the human condition, the product of our past traumas, our monkey minds at work. Our hearts are not challenged, our egos are.

The key is to see it for what it is. Dance with it. Laugh at it and ourselves.

Then we get back to do the real work, the work of the heart and the soul, intentionally, with concentration, mindfulness and lovingkindness to ourselves and others.


2 thoughts on “What breaks your heart?

  1. I love this Steve! Half the battle is awareness. The other half is moving toward a better version of ourselves. I have found systems that use the Enneagram are most helpful to me. I’d be curious if you had any tools you use for application. Thanks for the insight!


  2. I love this Steve! Half the battle is awareness. The other half is moving toward a healthier version of ourselves. I’d be curious if you had any tools you use to make progress in this area. I have found “tools” that use the Enneagram are most helpful to me. Here’s an example from The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso & Russ Hudson:

    The Stages of the Work

    If we were to really observe ourselves,
    we would become aware of our habits.

    If we were to become aware of our habits,
    we would let go and relax.

    If we were to let go and relax,
    we would be aware of sensations.

    If we were to be aware of sensations,
    we would receive impressions.

    If we were to receive impressions,
    we would awaken to the moment.

    If we were to awaken to the moment,
    we would experience reality.

    If we were to experience reality,
    we would see that we are not our personality.

    If we were to see that we are not our personality,
    we would remember ourselves.

    If we were to remember ourselves,
    we would let go of our fear and attachments.

    If we were to let go of our fear and attachments,
    we would be touched by God.

    If we were touched by God,
    we would seek union with God.

    If we were to seek union with God,
    we would will what God wills.

    If we were to will what God wills,
    we would be transformed.

    If we were transformed,
    the world would be transformed.

    If the world were transformed,
    all would return to God.


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