February 5 – Beneath Problem Solving – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

Beneath most headaches, is a heartache. 

Often we find it easier to think our way around things rather than to feel our way through them: What can we do to pull ourselves out of a bad mood? What can we buy, remove or repair that will reduce or solve a loved one’s anger or sadness?

In retrospect, I realize I have spent many hours problem solving emotional facts I just needed to feel. I know now that my frequent labors to understand what went wrong, while somewhat useful, often were distractions from feeling the sadness and disappointment necessary to heal and move on.

It’s all very human. No one wants to feel pain, especially when you can’t quite point to a specific cut or wound. So it is with the heart. There’s nothing to show or stitch up, yet everything is affected.

The truth is that while analyzing and strategizing and preparing ourselves can occupy our minds, and may even help prevent us from being hurt the same way twice, there is no substitute for giving the wound air, which in the case of the heart means saying deeply, without aversion or self-pity, “ouch.”

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