As I walked back to my room I noticed that throughout the walkway there were decorative hearts filled with stones. It triggered a thought in me and it’s not what you would think being in this paradise called Bali.
These hearts filled with stones was a reflection of a heart I had been walking around with most of my life. When we shut ourselves out, suppress the feelings and mask the pain with the hope that it goes away, that pain hardens and turns into little stones that are lodged within the heart.
Have you ever experienced heart break and or disappointment from others, those you have loved and trusted? If you answered no then you are the lucky .00001 percent. For the rest of you mortals I ask, what did you do with that pain and disappointment? Did you embrace it, acknowledge it and heal it or like me did you tuck away each defeat and let down you experienced in life?
One of the ways that suppressed pain showed up for me was in the form anger. Especially being a man, we are encouraged to store all the pain away, to man the fuck up. This is how we are nurtured from a young age and then everyone acts surprised when the only emotion that we have the ability to display with ease is anger.
These heart filled stones seemed beautiful on this path, but inside of us, the beauty is a heart that is clear, that doesn’t hold on, that forgives and lets go so that it has space to give and receive and to experience and display emotions other then anger. The alternative is we live in the lull of silent pain, where giving and receiving are softly excruciating because there is limited vacancy for an abundance of love.
When the experience of pain and sorrow is not respected, mourned and released properly, when we display a false perception of toughness to the world, this tearless society that we have created is a life lived partially.
Has anyone ever told you to stop crying? Men hear this a lot throughout their life. Many women today are in search for the strong emotionally intelligent masculine. That’s a wonderful dream, but let’s focus together on redefining how we raise our boys and transition them into manhood because even though the game has changed, boys and men are still given the same set of expired rules. It’s sad that we have so much opportunity to evolve yet we remain for the most part in status quo for the sake of comfort.
You know why anger is excepted in men? It’s because suppressing tears and other natural emotions we are left with permission to express only one emotion. Anger. Yes, anger is an emotion in case you have forgotten. I say this because so many men walk around and lose there fucking shit (guilty as charged) and claim proudly, I’m not emotional.
Dude, anger is an emotion. It’s like we have a whole list of emotions, instead of distributing it to all emotions, we stuff all our emotional energy into the anger jar until it blows the lid off.
Emotions are not gender specific. Embracing and experiencing all emotions is to be human.
Now we live in a world that has maximized the masculine energy where women too are expected to tuck away natural emotions, especially in the workplace.
It was in 2014, while on a retreat in Costa Rica that I experienced for the second time in my adult life a glimpse of a fully open heart. I wish that I could package that moment up and gift it to all seven plus billion people in this world because I think it’s the most powerful way to live a human life.
We have an opportunity today to lay a new foundations for the millions of children around the world so they don’t have to walk around with heavy hearts. Lets step on the brakes and stop the comfort train and begin reimagining and recreating what it means to be human, to normalize and encourage open hearted living and expression of all emotions without judgment, if not for us, then for the children who may appreciate and benefit from the fresh seeds we plant for their future.