Me in Matera, Italy

Saturday, 4 June 2011

The heart of the matter

I continue to be in this place of self-evaluation and I've had to face some rather unpleasant realities about myself.  While I do give and feel love where I feel absolutely safe, I can be rather closed-off and cold.  I've spent many years armoring myself in preparation for the next battle hoping to protect myself by not caring too much, not getting too close and only truly relying on myself.  If I expect nothing then I won't be disappointed ... right? 

Self-protection is really all about fear and fear really is a waste of precious time. 

Recently my brother was outfitted with a PICC, it's purpose is to protect his heart from infection.  It made me think about how I have attempted to protect my heart from rejection and hurt.  I've allowed my fears to keep barriers between me and people I really care about.  I've withheld love because I was afraid to expose my heart and be vulnerable.  I hold grudges because feels less risky to write someone off then give them another chance.  When I feel like I'm getting too close or starting to trust someone too much, I back up and close off like a snail retreating into her shell. 

If I continue to keep to myself and withhold the goodness in my heart, will I die with a heart full of love un-given? 

Recently I've been opening up more and talking about things I've been afraid to talk about.  The problem with avoiding discussions and hiding feelings is that it has the opposite effect that you are hoping for; it makes them bigger rather than making them disappear into the darkness.  Perspective is made possible by opening up, shining light on them and even seeing them from someone else's point of view. 

This week I also made an apology to someone I really care about.  I was afraid to reach out to her for fear of how she may respond and I was pleasantly surprised by her willingness to open her heart to me and generously accept my apology.  It was such an incredible feeling and I could feel my heart warm.  I wish I hadn't waited so long.

We all have enormous capacity for love, it's a gift to give not keep.  I learned a lot about love from my sister, Debbie.  She was generous with her love to me and those around her; I remember saying at her funeral "just as iron sharpens iron; love sharpens love".  The more love you give, the more love you feel ,and the more love you have to give.

Change is scary, it's uncomfortable but what's even more scary is not changing.  I'm glad I can see myself more clearly now.  I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to be more open, more giving, more forgiving and more loving.


  1. This blog post was particularly prescient in my own life. I feel that I share a lot of your self-protective devices. And I am trying really hard to find a way around them.Thank you for posting.


  2. Thanks Patra. It's comforting to know you relate to how I feel.