The courageous Heart...
Christmas is often a hard time for many of us - travelling to see family we often come a cropper. People have lost faith in any deep truth - maybe many of us are seduced by the postmodern story that it is all just different stories - alt-truth.
Having been through my own deep trials, I can echo what the Buddha saw - beautifully articulated here by my teacher Almaas:
Originally, to start with, human beings create all these mind relationships, these mental relationships, these splittings in relationships, to protect the love, to protect the heart from hurt. That protection comes from ignorance. We do not know that our heart is indestructible. The heart cannot be destroyed. Your heart is more permanent than your body. Even when you feel hurt, it is not ultimately your heart that is hurt. what is hurt are your identifications, your self-image, your pride. So to continue loving regardless of what happens is not giving in to the other person; it is giving in to your heart, to your nature. Sometimes we do not allow ourselves to feel loving, and to be loving, and to act loving. This is because we think that loving means we are going to be weak, or that we are going to be taken advantage of, or exploited, or that we are being stupid, or that we are going to lose something. The fact is that the moment you close your heart, you are the one who loses. If you give in to your heart, it does not mean that you are giving in to the other person. It does not mean you are giving in to negativity. You are giving in to your nature. You are surrendering to who you are. To be always loving does not mean that you do not defend yourself. The courageous heart perceives and acknowledges what is there—good or bad. It does not pretend that there is no negativity. It perceives the negativity and deals with it with love. So to continue to be loving does not mean that you are weak. It does not mean that you are going to be dominated by someone. In fact, to have a courageous heart means you are able to be inwardly alone and independent. There is no true autonomy without a courageous heart. And there is no courageous heart without true autonomy.'
Diamond Heart Book IV, p. 201 •