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How to Protect Your Heart from Pain

  • 5 min read

Have you ever been hurt so badly that you swore you never wanted to feel the same pain again?

Maybe it was after a breakup or a divorce.

Perhaps when your best friend did something so terrible to you that you find it hard to ever trust anyone again.

Or when you realized Santa Claus was not real and you had been sitting on creepy old men’s laps every year.

It could be something entirely different, but I think most of us have gone through at least one experience in our lives, that hurt us so much we could barely handle it.

Situations in which we feel this kind of suffering usually happen either after losing something we loved or being betrayed by someone we loved.

A loved one cheating on you. A miscarriage. Those last 2 seasons of Community where they replaced the main writer and most of the cast.

So one very effective strategy to avoid having it happen again is to close your heart and protect it. To guard it firmly. And while you keep people close, to also make sure that they never get close enough that they could ever hurt you like that.

This actually makes a lot of sense:

Trust anybody and they can hurt you.

Depend on anybody and they can ruin your day.

Love anybody and it will hurt like hell when they’re gone.

If you don’t want to feel that pain anymore, just make sure to never put yourself in a position again where you can feel it. Don’t trust people blindly or love people foolishly …aaand it’s fixed. Never hurt again ?

From now on, only good emotions.

If you’ve ever tried to protect your heart from getting broken like this, or are doing it right now. Here’s an interesting question though:

When was the last time you thought “this is the happiest moment I’ve ever had in my life”?

When was the last time you felt so ridiculously loved that you could feel it in every fiber of your being?

Perhaps if you were to ask yourself when those moments were, and you are brutally honest with yourself… You’d remember that they were a while ago. That the best you’ve ever felt somehow had something to do with that horrible pain you don’t want to feel again.

I think you’ll even come to the conclusion, that the things that hurt you the most, were also the things that brought you the most joy.

For example:

You don’t feel devastated when you hear your neighbor’s third cousin died. But when it’s your best friend, it just tears you to pieces… Because your best friend was an intense source of joy and stability in your life. But your neighbor’s third cousin was just “Bob”.

Or when the cashier in the supermarket lies to you, you just think “it’s an asshole” and you go on with your life. But when it’s the love of your life that tells the lie, it shatters your entire reality.

This is why closing your heart fixes it. From now on, every guy/girl you get involved with that ends up lying to you, is “just an asshole” and you go on with your life forgetting about them.

But what else is missing from the picture?

Everything that you want to feel the most:

A deep connection. Love, bliss, ecstasy. Knowing someone will always be there for you. Feeling accepted for who you are.

And the reason you don’t feel those things anymore is quite obvious:

The depth of joy and happiness you are able to feel in life is always in direct proportion to the amount of suffering you are willing to endure.

All the best feelings that you can feel in life, come at the price of risking intense suffering. (As any heroin addict would affirm.)

Things like breakups, death, loss, and betrayal… They hurt so much exactly because what came before was so immensely beautiful.

But when you don’t risk the suffering, you can’t feel the joy that they bring.

• If you don’t take the risk of “giving everything up to follow your dream”, you will never feel the pain of realizing that you failed to make them come true. But you will also never feel the fulfillment of looking back and saying “I did it”.

• You can never feel free, loved and accepted for who you truly are, if you don’t risk showing the other person the parts of you that you fear they will find ugly.

• You can have decent sex with anyone who is well, pretty good at sex. But you can never feel the infinite ecstasy of completely losing yourself in each other if you’re not willing to completely give yourself to the other person.

So when you walk around playing it safe and never letting people come too close or see the real you. 

Are you just removing the suffering from your life?

Or are you also removing everything that makes it special?

And if you would decide to slowly take more risks and open up from now, how would it feel to maybe finally feel some of those intense highs again?

Because the choice goes like this:

Joy and pain. Or none of both.

Ecstasy and complete despair. Or flat emotions.

Life and death. Or nothing.

The choice is always yours, but choose wisely ?

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