How Much Does A Heart Hold?

Discover how much your heart can hold…

Through-out my life, I’ve learned that the more you let others in, the more potential for hurt there is, so I made a decision early on to not allow others to breach the walls of the fortress I had built up. It’s not to say that I wasn’t social… I was and am very social. And I loved others deeply but I didn’t let them love me back – how could they when I made sure that ultimately, they couldn’t get close enough to me to really know me. I made sure that all of the relationships I had were according to my terms and those people kept at arm’s length. And for a while, I was happy… well, as happy as I could be living in a fortress all alone.

After a while, I started to become dissatisfied, but I couldn’t pinpoint why… and then one day I found a relationship that made me want to leave one of the fortress doors unlocked. The fear of running away from this particular relationship was far greater and overwhelming than my fear of letting people get close to me. It was a rather scary realization… one that shook me up for quite some time and one that I still tried to unsuccessfully resist.

Over time, I allowed others in (not many mind you… my heart is rather exclusive). Did I get hurt? Yes. Did I get disappointed? Yes. But you know what else? I found that each time I opened up and let someone else in, my ability to love others, forgive others, and trust others actually grew!! (Think the Grinch…”they say that the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day.”) In addition to “a bigger heart”, I started to see things more colorfully… more passionately. I began to realize that while love, friendship, and relationships in general can be one sided, they aren’t very fulfilling unless both parties involved are allowed to give and take.

When my son was born, I finally got a glimpse into what unconditional love was all about. It was an amazing feeling to know that while I might be disappointed with some of his future choices, I would never stop loving him, stop protecting him, or stop being his parent. I’d fight for him, support his dreams even if I didn’t share in them, and encourage him to think for himself even if that meant that one day he’d surely disagree with me.

My discovery of how much my heart can hold is still ongoing. How about yours?

Jessica

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