Monday, November 3, 2014

Guard Your Heart

      I have been thinking a lot lately about friendships and relationships.  I have decided that they can be hard and complicated.  I have started to kind of understand how we limit ourselves and build up walls to protect our hearts.  When I say limit ourselves, I mean that we limit who, when, and how many people we invite into our sacred heart corridors.   We have become overly protective of that sacred realm, which we guard with walls that often times are impossible to penetrate.  
    One of the main reasons we guard our hearts is for fear of being hurt or rejected by those we choose to let in.  So, to avoid any hurt, we just close the door tight and build up walls that even the most gifted wall climber could not scale.
     I have thought often that our society has trained us to not freely give out space in our hearts, and we have been taught not to let our guards down.  Some common mistruths that exist today in our society are as follows.
     We only have limited amount of room in our hearts.
     We cannot love everyone.
     It's not right to love someone that much.
     How can the same gender love that deeply without sex?
     If you have one best friend, you're lucky.
     You will get hurt for sure.
     There are limits on how many or how much you can love.
      Love hurts.     
     The list can go on and on.  You get the point.  We are surround by a society that dictates just how much we can love and how to love.  In our society today, we are a very self-centered people. Our only concern is, "What‘s in it for me?"  If there is a chance that we might get hurt or disappointed, we don't go there.  And, let's face it, love can be hurtful and disappointing.
    So, we "Guard our Hearts" and in the process remove wonderful opportunities to grow and love.  One thing I have found to be true that there are absolutely no limits on how much the human heart can love.  There are no limits on how many people we can love, and no limits on how deeply we can love them.  It's all up to us, and just how freely we want to open the door.
    Oh yes, when we open the door, we open ourselves up for disappointment and hurt.  But, in the process, we can have joy that exceeds our understanding.  The more we open ourselves, the more our ability to understand and love others grows.  Disappointment and hurt only serves to intensify the joy that we can experience when we allow others to come freely in our sacred realms.
     The reason I am writing this Blog is because of a recent experience I had tested me and pushed my heart beyond its normal range.  Without sharing too much detail, I will just say that I opened up my heart so completely, and I felt like the door was slammed so hard on my heart that I thought it would break.  I had to really take a good look at what my motives were and I had to remind myself that love is not always about receiving.  In fact, it is seldom about receiving.   I had to remind myself that it was about what could I do to help another; and I had to remind myself that this friend and I are at different stages and have different expectations, as is the case in most relationships. and expectations are seldom the same in any friendship. 
      I have found that when I meet someone and feel a strong connection, that if I follow through, it always turns out good.  It does not mean the experience is without pain and frustration, but the end result is always great.   When I feel that connection and act upon it, 100% of time it turns outs that a deep friendship evolves.  So often, we go throughout life and ignore those feelings for reasons already stated, and by so doing, miss out on great friendships that bring joy and growth into our lives.
     It really puts us to the test when developing same-gender relationships.  In today's world, we are told that if we have or want a strong connection with someone of the same gender, we must be gay or messed up.  It is not acceptable to openly express feelings of love for other men, and most often, we are told to be satisfied with one good friend.  There again, we are guilty of putting limits on how we love.  
     I strongly believe that if you love someone, tell them.  If you feel a strong connection to someone, tell them.  If you want to be a friend with someone, do it.  Forget the limits and boundaries that the world sets.  The only boundaries that really matter are the ones that God has given us, and those boundaries are designed to keep our relationships healthy. The boundaries that God sets protect us from heartache and hurt.  I am not aware of boundaries that limit how many people we can love or how deeply we can love them.  I know of no boundaries that restrict our friendships to a few, or our love to small amounts.  In fact, the greatest commandment of all was to love one another as we love ourselves.  
     So, for me, I am going to work on having no walls and limits on how or whom I love.  I am grateful for the male relationships I have, especially the ones that are open and loving.  Next to the relationship I have with my wife and family, those bring me great joy.  Life is an amazing journey, and when we take away walls that guard our hearts, it can be more joyful and meaningful. 

    Wishing you joy in your journey and relationships with others.  

JADE meets the first Tuesday of each month at 703 E. 1st. Ave. Mesa 
7:00  For more information on JADE you can call 480-231-2424
JADE is a meeting that teaches and instructs men how to develop
healthy positive relationships with other men

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