“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin
Last night during a sermon at church, the guest speaker, our own Jason D. used the term stubborn heart to describe a heart that resists – resists openness, resists love, resists tears, resists surrender. Ultimately, resists God. I loved this analogy because I knew exactly what he was talking about. I know when my heart becomes stubborn, like a child refusing to share a toy or an evil Queen too hardened to be happy for anyone around her. Jealous. Resentful. But more than anything – SCARED.
It’s taken me a long time for my heart to soften and it’s a work in progress for sure. When I first started attending my church, Journey, I literally felt my heart as a hard walnut shell that God was trying to crack open. Talk about stubborn. Debris was flying around everywhere (and continues to). Now I often feel my heart all soft and gushy. But it is a dance of expansion and contraction. It is a continual opening and closing like flowers turning to face the sun during the day and closing their blossoms at nightfall.
I have found that the ways of the heart opening are as numerous and mysterious as the heart itself. They vary like the paths of streams flowing towards a large body of water. Some catalyst occurs that starts to crack the heart open again. Sometimes the trigger is an intensely painful experience that busts the heart open like a blast of dynamite creating space in a building or wall. Or sometimes it’s a person who sees us deeply and for a moment redeems our faith in both ourselves and humanity. And then it can just be a gradual softening like when the sun begins to melt the winter snow, or after holding onto something super tight, you suddenly let go and relax a little. Regardless of the ways, I experience this all as God.
The heart is a very funny animal. Researchers are finding that the heart may have its own central nervous system and that it actually radiates an energy. In Paul Pearsall’s brilliant book, “The Heart’s Code,” he writes, “The heart may be where God’s intelligence or logic is expressed within us… Cardio-energetics says that the heart can serve as a magnetic pole attracting that energy…”
“When you’re not trying to make the heart into something you think is proper, it showers you with its magic, and even in the midst of pain it can offer moments of rapture.”- Thomas Moore.
Here’s to open hearts!