The question innocently asked by one of my dearest friends, that forever changed the way I lived life and understood my heart. In that moment, I don’t think either of us understood the gravity of the question asked or the journey that I’d eventually embark on to try to answer it.
And now a couple of years removed from that moment, I look quickly backward and optimistically forward because that little question shapes my life EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
So how’s your heart? Yep, yours! How are you at the deepest part of you? The part that whispers the dreams and hopes you’d be embarrassed to say out loud. The part that knows all too well that sometimes you don’t feel qualified or prepared or simply enough… How are you there?
And what is your heart doing? Is it pushing you forward towards your dreams? Encouraging you to try harder? Or is it whispering words of doubt and discouragement? Telling you to just give up?
I’m convinced that our hearts help shape our destinies. The condition of your heart will eventually reveal itself to everyone…they’ll have to look no further than your life.
So we want our hearts to be in good condition then, right?
I know I do!
But when I was trying to discover what a heart in good condition looked like, I got stuck at the idea of a guarded heart. Because for me it was almost impossible to reconcile a guarded heart with a heart that loves freely. We all have to reconcile for ourselves the dichotomy that exists between a guarded heart and a loving heart. Because our hearts should be both. Not just for our own sake, but for the sake of our relationships.
I believe real meaningful relationship happens when your heart is seen and understood by someone else. But allowing someone access to one of the deepest parts of who you are is as beautiful as it is frightening! We want what is most dear to us to be protected (guarded), but we also want it to be seen because w/o it being seen, can someone really know us?
If we give up on revealing our hearts, in an effort to guard them, then we give up on relationship and all of the benefits that come with being known, yet still loved.
But if we love recklessly w/ abandon everyone– our hearts will at some point be devastatingly broken. And broken hearts are no fun for anyone
But there is NO fear in love.
So if I’m loving someone, but at the same time worrying if they’ll break my heart, then I’m not loving right. And if I’m guarding my heart, only in an effort to prevent it from being broken…then I’m not guarding it right.
I think there’s this beautiful balance that can occur when we reconcile the dichotomy between loving and guarding. It’s the balance that happens when we love everyone…Love everyone uniquely.
A stranger I encounter has less access to my heart than my best friends do. WHY? Because there is a such thing as stranger danger and friendship does in fact have benefits 😉
So I refuse to give up on loving! But I’m not naive enough to do so w/o protecting.
I might get hurt, my heart may get broken, but I choose to make the safest, unsafe decision to love anyway….