Continued from part 29.
Everywhere one looks there is outrageous pain. There is public pain and private pain. Seventeen million slaves exist in the world today—that’s more than there were at the height of the slave trade in the US two hundred years ago. Today 17,000 children die every day from starvation and twenty million children die of starvation every year. Billions of people are brutalized by loneliness and alienation. The list of public outrageous pain goes on and on.
Then there is the private outrageous pain. This is the stuff from your personal life that hurts so badly. It may be something that was done to you or that you did. It might be the pain of betrayal, where you were either the betrayed or the betrayer. Or both. It might be the pain of a part of your life that is unlived or unloved. When you really face the pain, it is excruciating. So your turn your face away and get busy. We’re so frightened by outrageous pain that we’ve completely shut down. We close off our hearts because ordinary love cannot hold the pain.
The problem is, that we only have one heart. We cannot consistently shut down our heart and still remain openhearted. We think that we can selectively open our heart only to the channels of life whose programming appeals to us. That, however, is not the way the heart is designed. When you shut down you lose the signal and nothing comes. The result of repeatedly closing our hearts in face of the pain is loss of aliveness, depression, addiction and an unrelenting yearning for more.
The first step on the journey to awakening as an outrageous lover is to not hide from the pain. As a first step we need not to solve it, but turn our face towards it. Not all the time, but for only five minutes a day. The evolutionary mystics called this, “participating in the pain of love in exile.”
To carry out this practice, ordinary love is not strong enough to allow us to hold the pain. We need a larger love, wider and deeper love. That is outrageous love. But for now just locate outrageous love. Take a brief moment to think back on the largest love you have ever felt. Remember how in the embrace of that love there was room for everything? Now step into that love and double it. Triple it. Quadruple it. That is enough to locate the feeling tone of outrageous love. You can only respond to outrageous pain with outrageous love.
Now, from that place of outrageous love, think of a pain you are avoiding. Turn into the pain and stare directly at it for two or three minutes. Do not turn your thoughts away. Do not avert your gaze. Hold the outrageous pain in outrageous love. That’s it. You have already done it. This is the first step to awakening that most people never take. Congratulations!
Taken from a first draft text from the forthcoming book The Path and Practice of Outrageous Love by Marc Gafni and Kristina Kincaid, this series elaborates on a critical advancement of the Unique Self Dharma that Dr. Marc has developed after Your Unique Self was published.