I am learning that feeling pain is required for true growth. We must learn to transcend the tendency to avoid the pain. Any behavior pattern we develop to avoid pain becomes a doorway to the pain itself. Coming to peace with pain is a requirement for spiritual growth and deep personal transformation.
Do the opposite of contracting and closing your heart. Relax, feel, and then release the pain at the moment it arrives. Instead of pulling away, let it pass through you like the wind.
You do not want this pain inside your heart. Our hearts cannot be open to love and life if we limit the feelings we are willing to endure. To feel great love and freedom, to find the presence of God within you, all of this stored pain must go!
Clients willing to face their fears and dive into their pain are the bravest people I know.