I came across a fascinating post. I was going to comment, and then decided I would rather just write about it here.
Amy R Martin talks about hardening of the heart. Not the medical kind. The soul kind. She talks about how easy it is, how hard to discern.
It kinda hurts, how spot on she is.
I’ve always been rather brash, going far enough back that I can’t really remember when I wasn’t a little hellion.
I realized recently that my devil-may-care attitude is nothing but a rather unsophisticated cover for an aching need for intimacy and connection. Which is not to say it’s not an extremely effective coping mechanism. But it is, at its core, simply a mask for fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of admitting to needing someone, and not getting it. (Does that still make it a need? I’m asking)
But I’ve gotten comfortable with the idea that pain is not necessarily something that must be avoided. Sure, aversion to pain is a fairly primitive drive, but so is avarice and jealousy, and I have no qualms about ixnaying them from my life.
So. I took the first step to softening by allowing myself to fail. I’m fertilizing my sense of wonder. Now, I’m softening my stance on disappointment. I still have the expectation of caring, empathy and excellence in those around me, but I’m loosening the stays that make me judgey. The ones that allow me to write people off as no longer worthy of my trust.
I’m softening my heart, acknowledging that I’ll get a kick for my trouble sometimes. I’m accepting the blows, serene in the knowledge that by softening, like a reed in a hurricane, I can bend without breaking. It’s not going to stop hurting– let’s be realistic about that. But like most things, hurting is easier when you know you’ve chosen it.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.” — Eckhart Tolle