" When we experience pain, the door to the heart naturally closes. The "primitive' part of the brain that is concerned with self-preservation takes over. If I am chased by a bear, the only thing that matters is getting away, not how I feel about the bear or what I think about what is happening. Later, I can analyze the situation (and maybe invest in bear spray). Later, I can allow myself to feel the terror. But not until I get to a safe place (externally and internally). This process seems logical in the case of a bear attack.
The same parts of the brain are activated and the same kinds of emotional responses are triggered when I feel threatened by anything or anyone. If someone hurts your feelings or a job or relationship ends, your thinking brain and feeling heart shut down for a while. When the alarm system in the brain goes off, all your energy goes to escaping or fighting back.
The problem is that once the threat has passed, you may feel overwhelmed and exhausted because it takes a lot of energy to survive. Your heart may not want to recall how the experience felt because it hurts. You may not want to risk opening your heart because you could get hurt again. And you may not be able to think clearly. You need time and rest after a crisis.
After a painful experience, I find it helpful to ask myself a simple question. "What do i really need right now?" Maybe I need a hug, a nap, a good meal, or a good cry. Maybe I need to take a walk or dance or read a book. Eventually, when my thinking mind re-engages, I may need to take action, to tell someone what I need or ask for support or take a new direction. But the first step is just to ask the question and listen to the answer.
It is only natural and human to shut down during a crisis. It is logical and loving to give yourself time and rest in order to get back to your "right mind", back in touch with your true feelings and needs.
What opens your heart after a crisis? Try asking the magic question the next time you are the survivor of a literal or figurative "bear attack". "What do I really need right now?" Following the instructions of your loving inner voice helps to restore your balance and gives you the energy needed to move back into the fullness of life.