According to Buddhist psychology, by pushing away the painful aspects of experience we isolate ourselves from the capacity to love. We justifiably complain of feeling unreal because we are busy keeping ourselves at arm’s length by listening to the inner dialogue urging us toward our favorite distraction (sex, food, computer games, etc.).
Opening to emotion deepens the experience, of self and others. Being with the pain and disappointment, an invariable part of human relationships, helps us to expand. Psychologist John Welwood poetically refers to a broken heart as one that is broken “wide open”. He goes on to say, “What actually breaks open is the defensive shell around the heart that we have constructed to try to protect our soft spot, where we feel most deeply affected by life.”
This is not an easy task. The soul’s journey rarely is.