I know, I know…it may come as a big surprise for many of you, but I have been told lately that I care about people too much, that I could get really hurt, and that there isn’t enough love to go around for everyone…So “How come I open my heart so wide and let everyone in” is the question I have been asked a few times over the past few months.
What I find interesting is that most people think of love and the heart as the iconic one-dimensional heart shape we see a lot on valentine’s day.
They look at the simple outline of a heart and immediately divide it, in half. Love is equitable, balanced, and contained with limits. As we know, I do not like to be confined with limits and this concept that the heart has a certain limit or capacity to love others, for me, is bulls*&t! In my mind, there is no either/or about who to love, how to love, or how do I divide my love.
If you look at the picture, you will see a heart depicted in 3D, each new heart is added to the next, expanding and embracing all. It’s the closest way to explain how I can “fit” everyone into mine. Each time your heart embraces another, you open yourself to vulnerability and hurt. Because my doors are wide open, there is a possibility to be hurt very deeply. I don’t know any other way except to love the people who come into my life.
What I have found interesting is that two people, from two different sides of the world expressed the same sentiment in very similar ways. The basic underlying theme was this: Are you taking care of yourself if you are taking care of others so much?
Their concern has merit because it is in my nature to lose myself and my identity by putting other’s needs before my own. The first person asked me whether or not Alex had room in his heart for me and Mina if it was already filled with Allegra and Zola. The second person asked me how there was room in my heart for Allegra and Zola if it was filled with Alex and Mina. Both had segmented the “heart” in half.
I had to sit with all of that for awhile and my head turned around and around about a person’s capacity to love. The image that kept coming back again and again was the last scene from the favorite Christmas classic, The Grinch who stole Christmas. At the very end, his heart grew so much that it couldn’t be contained. I think that sums up how I feel about loving others. You can’t put love in a box and nor should it be contained. I don’t want to be stingy with love, doling it out teaspoon by teaspoon. That doesn’t feel authentic to me. There is no billboard on the highway that says there is a finite amount of love in the world! How come some feel as if they need to measure out the love they give by the love they get? You limit your life by limiting your love.