I heard this phrase recently, "our wounded, softened hearts." The ideas is that in moments of pain and distress, we move into a place of more compassion, more empathy, more love, more patience - rather than the more common and opposite response.
What a powerful image for me! Think how our world would be different if our responses, on the global level, were softened after a tragedy rather than hardened with thoughts of revenge or fear.
What a gift to myself if I allow my defenses to melt and my heart to soften after a painful experience.
You can read more about this concept in the book, Comfortable with Uncertainty by Pema Chodron.