Protecting someone or something is a natural instinct. We’ve all been in a situation where we needed to protect a friend, child, or family member and we’ve even seen footage of wild animals protecting their young. So if we have this natural instinct to protect then why is it so hard to know whether or not we should be protecting or guarding our hearts?
What is the heart? If you look it up in Google, it is referred to as the following:
1. A hollow pump-like organ
2. The center of the total personality
3. The center of emotion
4. Capacity for feeling.
I’m sure I”m not the only one to notice that the very first definition that comes up on any search engine is “a hollow pump-like organ”. Most of us believe that this is the place where we store emotion, joy, sadness, any feeling we can possibly feel. When in reality those feelings technically come from our brains. If you stop to think about it though something has to send the signal to our brain in order for us to have those feelings. I like to think the heart is the culprit. I had a hard time accepting that the heart started out as a hollow organ. There had to be some sort of emotion or feeling stored in there at the moment of birth. Then I looked at the other definitions and they made more sense to me. I would much rather believe that when we are born our heart is filled with the capacity to feel and as we grow we use that capacity and center to develop our personalities.
If you look into the eyes of a newborn baby you can see the love in their hearts and as they grow their personality develops. Based on this principle I disagree with the first definition of the hollow organ. Yes I know medically speaking the organ is described that way because it does not contain anything, it is just a vessel. Well, non-medically speaking it contains a hell of a lot!
We hold everything in our hearts and what is in our heart determines how we live our lives. It doesn’t matter what we are suffering from if we hold that in it will continue to have a negative effect on our lives. It’s not easy to let things go and move on but it is so important for our well-being not to hold onto the pain. I”m not healed 100% just yet but, I have noticed that the days I can say I’m ok with everything are so much more productive in my life. I’ve had to do a “clean sweep” of my heart on many occasions over the past couple of years but it was always necessary. By “clean sweep” I mean taking the time to think and focus on how that pain was affecting my daily life. I found that by keeping the painful feelings so close it was only going to bring me down and I would never move forward. I still have some days where it tries to creep back in and those are the days I stand up and fight!
Our hearts will also hold happiness and there is a lot of room in there for that! We start out in life full of happiness and somewhere along the road things happen and that space can be taken up by grief, sadness and sorrow. Any type of loss can destroy the heart no matter what the circumstances are and having the courage to put yourself out there again is terrifying. No one who has been through those feelings want to go through them again and many of us decide to close off the heart and not take the risk. I wonder though, are we doing more damage by being so guarded? Some of you know that I made the choice recently to go in unguarded and no matter how it ends up, I will never regret letting my heart feel again. Each day that I spend with an unguarded heart I am the happiest. The days that I choose to be protective of it is was when the fear and uncertainty creep back in. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m not a fan of feeling fearful or uncertain. I spent too many years that way and it’s time now to choose not to let my heart fill up with those feelings.
We all have heard the phrase “it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”. I truly believe that; no matter how much pain or suffering I went through with my divorce. The beauty behind that phrase is that it applies to anyone you have loved. Be it a friendship that didn’t last, a romantic relationship or the passing of a loved one it is all the same.I will continue to be somewhat protective of my “feelings” which are controlled by my brain, rather than being over protective of what I am allowing to pass through my heart. I know that it has a lot of room, I”m hoping most of that will be for happiness but I also know that there will also be some pain that has to pass through it again as well. The good thing is I’m ok with that because I have already proven to myself that I can survive the pain that passes through my heart what’s important is that I allow that to happen. In order to survive it you have to let it pass through, do not choose to hold it in.