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Tag Archives: Heart

Armored Car

2 Nov

Everyone gets hurt from time to time.  People let us down, break their promises, forget commitments, and things go wrong.  We depend on others as we go through our days, and sometimes they drop the ball.  When we get hurt badly it can be hard to regain our footing.  We may determine to no longer trust anyone, but that will never work in our favor.  Still, if we’ve been hurt deeply we may put walls up around us thinking they will protect us.  Like an armored car, we bury ourselves under layers of protection in order to prevent anyone from getting in, and hurting us again.  While those layers may protect us in some ways, they also work against us.  If we don’t let people get close to us we might not get hurt, but we may also lose our ability to feel a real connection.  Superficial relationships will never allow us to feel deep affection for anyone.  Strong feelings of attachment and love are beneficial, and are among the most valuable experiences we can have.  Without those connections, we lose a big part of our human experience.

Nobody gets through life without getting hurt.  We may be wounded in one way or another simply because of our interactions and trust for others.  In every exchange, and in every relationship, there is an element of risk.  Allowing others to get close to us makes us vulnerable and when we’re vulnerable there is always the possibility of getting hurt.  We can decide the risk isn’t worth whatever we might gain and keep everyone in our lives at a distance.  If we do that we may never have the extreme pleasure and reward of sharing ourselves with someone else on an intimate level.  We may never experience true feelings of love.

If we develop strong feelings for someone and entrust them with our hearts, and they are not valiant or don’t cherish us in return, their choices and actions may hurt us.  They say it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but when we’re devastated it’s hard to believe that.  We have a lot to offer and we deserve the very best relationships possible.  If that doesn’t happen and we let someone else’s bad choices change how we live our lives, we may end up losing even more.  Sometimes those that hurt us don’t even care what we’re going through or what they’ve done that has devastated us.  Sometimes all they see is themselves.  Allowing their decisions and bad behavior to define our path going forward gives away our power.  We need to have power over our lives to live successfully.  If we determine that even though we’ve been hurt to live our lives openly and well, that we won’t let a bad experience change our course, we will keep our power.  And we will find happiness again.

Today if you’ve been badly hurt by someone close to you, don’t forget your real focus.  Keep your control.  You know what’s best for you, and you know how to go forward.  You will find your way back to happiness and you’ll be wiser from the experience.  Don’t let someone else’s bad decisions determine your future.  You deserve only the best.  Keep your eyes on the goal and you’ll find it.

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Snapshots

2 Oct

As we go through our lives, there are memories that stay with us. Sometimes they are etched in our minds forever because the event was so intense – the death of a loved one, the day our child was born, or when we met the love of our lives.  But often they aren’t anything extraordinary but regular days where something unexpected happened or we felt something deeply. We remember a day at the beach when we found a perfectly round pebble on the shore. Or the time we had lunch with friends and the waiter told a joke so funny we couldn’t stop laughing. Or we remember a long walk through a quiet forest and how fresh the air felt. Our minds capture these events like snapshots frozen in time. Perhaps someone says something and a memory comes forward, or we smell a familiar but long lost scent that takes us back, or we see something and suddenly we are transformed back in time to a special moment. Our lives race by so quickly and when we remember a time before now, we have the chance to reflect and see how far we’ve come.

Every one of our days is sacred. We can only live through them one time and then they are gone. But our memories last forever. They are stored close to our hearts reminding us of who we are, and where we’ve been. It’s impossible to remember everything and some people preserve their daily activities by keeping a journal or a diary. Others take lots of pictures and revisit them again and again. And some of us just rely on ourselves to remember special moments. Whatever we’re doing, memories take us back to times before, and help us understand the road we’ve been on. If we let them, our memories will teach us and show us how much we’ve grown.

When memories are painful we may want them to disappear. If they revisit us again and again and we can’t make them stop there may be unresolved issues from whatever happened. The memory may be a reminder that we still have work to do to move forward. If that’s the case, the only way to stop the pain is to face the memory head on and deal with it. Opening old wounds is never easy but sometimes it’s the only way to make them heal. If we can face the pain openly, see everything clearly, and let it wash over us, we can begin to let it go. We have to open the door to walk through it. And then on the other side we can start to move forward again and although the memory will still be there, working through it will help stop the pain attached to it.

Today if you remember a time gone by that brought you joy, take a moment to relive the memory. Enjoy the experience again and be happy. If you remember something that hurts, look at it, and take some time to work through the pain until you can begin to let it go. Your memories are blessings. Painful or joyful, they are proof that you are here. And being here is wonderful. It’s the greatest blessing of all.

With all my heart.

2 Apr

This is a heartbreaking story – literally. A young man from Georgia a couple of years ago needed a heart transplant. He was only 15. The transplant committee was hesitant to put him on the transplant list because he had a troubled past, and they were not sure he would comply with the directions after the transplant to ensure that it was effective. Hearts for transplant are not readily available and come at the highest cost. So determining who gets one is a very serious business. The boy’s mother appealed to the press who immediately took up her cause and he got the transplant. He was grateful and happy at the time saying the transplant would help him, “So I can live a second chance. Get a second chance and do things I want to do,” he said. It was a happy outcome for him and for his family who loved him.

Fast forward two years. This week that same boy died in a car chase with police after an attempted robbery and in a stolen car. He was 17. It’s horribly sad on several levels. First of all, he was given two years of life he would not have had without the death of his donor, and being allowed to receive his new heart. Secondly, he obviously did not value that gift enough to change his life, and really do those things he said he wanted to do. Unless, of course, what he wanted to do was die in a car chase with police, which is doubtful.

The heart – we give it a lot of attention, and rightly so. Of course, besides the brain, it’s the organ that keeps us alive. We need it unconditionally. But what about the other “heart?” The one we refer to when we love someone, the one we talk about when someone is kind, the one we attribute to our charity and sensitivity. “She wears her heart on her sleeve. He has such a good heart. My heart hurts when I see such pain.” When we talk about our heart in that way, we refer to our human-ness. Our capacity to love and care. It’s a powerful thing, our heart, and all the emotions we attribute to it.

But the heart should not outweigh the brain. The brain is what tells us what is real, where our reasoning is, and helps us figure things out. Who among us hasn’t fallen in love with someone or something with our hearts, but realized with our brains that it would never fly? We need to reason even when there is emotion. We need to think even when we’re captivated. Sometimes that may take a little time until all the facts uncover themselves, and sometimes we know right away it’s not a good idea to follow our “hearts.” We need both our brains and our hearts to make decisions and if we’re careful, and take a little time, those decisions will be made well. Not always, of course, but if we think, we’ll be more successful than if we don’t.

Once I bought the most amazing jacket – I just loved it from the moment I saw it and it was on sale, so I bought it. It was expensive but I was completely crazy about it. So I followed my heart, pulled out my credit card and bought it. I was ecstatic all the way home with my new find. I couldn’t wait to wear it. But when I got home and pulled it out of the bag I noticed a problem with one of the sleeves I had not seen in the store. There was a big pull in the fabric and no matter how I twisted it and tried to fix it, there was no hope. And then when I looked at the color in the light of day, instead of the light in the store, it didn’t look so great. In fact it was ugly. Ugh. I could not return it – no sale returns clearly posted in the store, and now I was stuck with an expensive jacket I would never wear. I kept it in my closet for over a year as a reminder to me to THINK before I jumped when my heart told me to.

Making a bad purchase is a small thing in the scope of our lives, but the reminder to think before following our hearts is an important lesson. The boy with the heart transplant had been given a second chance at life. He had been given an extraordinary gift and in the end, he squandered it. He could have done amazing things with his life. He could have chosen to be noble. He could have helped others. He could have been the example for good. But he followed his other “heart” – his base desires and did not use his brain. And now he is gone. We should do better. We can use our hearts for all the great and tantalizing moments in our lives, but we can also engage our brains to think before we act. Be kind, be loving, be compassionate, be careful, AND be wise. Use your heart for good, and use your brain to help you achieve that good.