There is in each of us, is a place that "knows" all the heartbreak that is possible when one loves another and becomes vulnerable. And we each know that we cannot truly love without becoming vulnerable it is impossible.

Each of us can be betrayed or rejected, and we are each able to betray or reject another. And if that does not happen, death will inevitably separate us from who we love. In our lives each of us has been hurt, and has hurt others.

Sometimes the hurt is so great, that one closes for life, never to risk loving again. Others carry such scars that even though they try again and again to love, they fail when they are inevitably triggered by some experience, real or imagined.

These triggers open the wound of love. And the experience of this wound can be so intense that it seems there is no way to process it. And there are countless psychological and so-called spiritual techniques that attempt to heal this. Some of them seem to be quite effective in doing so, at least for a time.

BUT, what if we look at this a little differently? What if we consider this wound more expansively as a deep awareness of the inevitable grief that all beings must experience at some point in their lives? What if we accept this wound, and make it conscious all the time? How would that affect our compassion for others, and our capacity to love?

Recently, I experienced being triggered in this manner, and much pain that I had experienced in past relationships surfaced to "inform" me about a present event. It created feelings of anger, frustration, fear and distrust. And my knee-jerk reaction was to lash out with accusations and righteousness.

Fortunately I did not, because all my wounded reactivity was completely unfounded. It was based on a misunderstanding, and I would have damaged a fragile relationship by doing so.

However, in the two-week interim, between when the triggering event occurred and the clarifying communication was made, I practiced with this wound in a different way, and I learned much.

I knew it was too painful to hold alone, and so I asked for divine assistance. In my recent years of spiritual practice I often invoke the Goddess in some of her many forms (particularly Santoshi Ma, Green Tara, Kwan Yin, Kali, and Ochun). How I have a connection to these archetype goddesses is a long story, but very real.

In this case, I asked Santoshi Ma to hold me in divine embrace, while I surrendered, allowing the wound to expand and diffuse into the yellow emotional energy sheath that surrounds the body. I did this whenever I felt the emotional pain most intensely. The night before I received the clarifying communication, I meditated and prayed to release all concern for what was happening regardless of the outcome, and I consciously sent love and blessings afar to the woman whose actions had triggered the pain that I felt.

 The outcome actually stunned me, as the communication that came back to me was more loving and appreciative than ever before. Something shifted not only in me, but also somehow in this woman as well.

                                                           Bob Bishop (1-04)