Before going too deeply into the weeds of protecting the heart without shutting down, I’d like to share some of my personal experience.
I work for a hospice program in charge of volunteers. I have found myself talking to many of them about veiling the heart as they go about their work with hospice patients. I have also observed over the years the many hospice staff who have shut down from years of working with people at the end of life. And it’s not just the dying part that’s hard. We find ourselves being dropped into extremely difficult personal dynamics and dramas. Those don’t stop just because someone is dying.
Honestly it simply is not possible to keep one’s heart wide open day in and day out and continue to do this work. So the dilemma for long time hospice staff and volunteers is to be present to our patients and their families without depleting ourselves.
Back in 2008, I had already been a long time student of Sufism also known as the “Path of the Heart”, when I came across Mark Silver’s Unveiling the Heart of Your Business (the book appears to be unavailable now, but I’m checking). I was looking for business and marketing advice which I did find very helpful but I also found something that has stayed with me and has been working on me for years…the veil of safety.
“The best answer I’ve found is instead of building walls around myself, to allow myself to be veiled by the Divine. A veil is permeable, it lets light in and out. But it’s also adjustable– you can have a thicker veil or a thinner veil as needed.
So the veil of safety took me to a much deeper understanding of how to protect the heart and I’ve used it for years. As I have worked with this idea on retreat, in my life, and with clients, my understanding of safety and protection have deepened and on my last retreat (just completed) I made a much deeper connection to the idea of magnetism as a protector.
I’ve worked with magnetism for years. It’s a basic concept on the Sufi Path, but I’d never quite made the connection to magnetism as protection. Magnetism protects the heart by strengthening it. There are still and always will times the heart is vulnerable and in need of protection, but when adding magnetism to the mix the heart may be able to live in the world without so much of a veil.
Stay tuned for more…