About a month ago my husband and I went to see Once, the wonderful Broadway musical that recently swept the Tony awards. It really was delightful. But what happened over the course of the performance, and long after it ended, still astonishes me.
The best way I can describe it is that something during the show catalyzed my heart cracking open, and I mean BIG time. For the last two songs, tears started innocently brimming and I simply felt warm all over. I was 25 weeks pregnant at the time and a walking swirl of hormones, so at first I just chalked it up to that. But soon it became clear that the feelings I was having were much more momentous than even my pregnancy could account for.
Here’s why: Only after we’d left the theatre did my tears really begin to pour out, and I mean pour. I couldn’t stop them and I could barely catch my breath. The poignancy of the bittersweet love story we’d just seen had burst my heart open so vociferously, so surprisingly, that I literally couldn’t contain all the feeling. I was awash and utterly overcome by the depth of LOVE in all its glory.
Never more have Adyashanti’s words from Falling Into Grace resonated: “The more deeply I love, the more I taste the bitterness with the sweet. It’s not a negative bitterness; it’s a bitterness that makes the sweetness even more sweet.”
Truth be told, the experience of such huge and powerful love was down right daunting. Not only did I cry for many hours, but also I was so jazzed that I couldn’t fall asleep. A dam in my heart had majorly given way, and it took basically the entire night to ride the strong emotion coursing through me. I was up until 4 AM.
My Zen teacher Norman Fischer wrote to me a few days later, after I’d told him all about it, “To go to the musical and to feel a lot and continue to feel a lot of tenderness and sorrow for days afterword seems nice to me, not a bad thing.” Perhaps if I were more enlightened, I would have rejoiced at the largesse of the whole thing right in the moment, without any fear or overwhelm.
Thanks to Norman and the steadying wisdom of two others, I have since come to see my heart cracking as it did as a gift and profound blessing. The heart cracking open is, after all, what so many of us aspire to in this miraculous life, isn’t it?
Now it is my turn to ask you: What has cracked your heart open recently? How did you respond? Are you still that open?
I most humbly and sincerely want to know.
In sweetness and LOVE,