A Full and Thankful Heart.
Thank you all for all the love yesterday. I have never received so many texts, Facebook, Instagram and Messenger messages! It was overwhelming in the best way.
As I stated yesterday, I have a lot to be grateful for and at the same time this month has been hard. I am feeling overwhelmed a lot of the time and simple every day tasks seem like too much to ask. Emotionally I am not at my best.
So at a time when I feel very loved and appreciated, I also have to own that I am flagging a bit on the emotional level. And there is a good reason...I have a full and thankful heart.
Now this may seem totally ungrateful but having a full and thankful heart is time consuming and also sometimes, overwhelming! Maintaining a full and thankful heart takes work and so sometimes I find myself ground down and I am there now.
I know this is messed up, but the amazing life I have is sometimes the reason that I am not at my best. Having too many demands on my life, time, attention and heart, cause me to be depleted. This year has increased that feeling exponentially.
In order to have a full and thankful heart, one must allow others in. And that is risky business. It takes a lot of strength to be vulnerable. To allow others to permeate your hard shell and allow them into your heart. I tend to have a rather tough exterior...but it is softening as I age for sure. I tend to lack a great deal of willingness to work too hard to permeate others exteriors also. If you make too hard of terms for me, I tend to move on.
But, of course, a full and thankful heart is guarded and protected. None of us want to lose that feeling of being loved, valued and cared for. No one wants to let that go, so we guard it and protect it which is usually the exact reason we lose the connection of feeling loved and cared for in the first place.
It has taken me a long time to realize that a full and thankful heart needs to remain open...not guarded. To just allow the fullness to flow wherever it is supposed to flow without concern that I will forever be flowed out. As long as I am here, still breathing and living, the flow won’t stop unless I insist. Thankful is also an open ended action. I have to remember to be grateful for all the circumstances of my life, even those that I don’t like, wish were different and hope change. Thankfulness is an appreciation of all that we have, not just the good things.
Today I am thankful that I still have a lot of work to do. That I have so many people to share my journey with who are interested in learning along with me. I am thankful for all of you who teach me where I need to grow, sometimes, with pain and heartbreak but always with my best interest in mind.
It would be lovely if life taught us things only disguised as a loving teacher. But I, for one, would totally miss those lessons. I am not a quick study in the life and love department...my lifetime teaching me more about how not to live and love than an example of goodness.
But a full and thankful heart must always be open to receive more fullness and gratitude, always being wary of closing off the flow. Sometimes the fear of pain, which is what most of us suffer from anyway, is enough to slow the flow to a trickle. And then we use our turning of the valve as proof positive that life brings only pain and hardship.
My lesson this Thanksgiving was that a full and thankful heart has to remain fully opened to all that life brings my way...siphoning off only my fear of pain to allow the richness of all experience to flow easily and without destination into my life. Yesterday I was reminded, how very much I want to believe and insist that life go according to my plans. And that when I do this, I miss the most amazing things life has to offer...the unexpected gifts of the present moment.
A full and thankful heart knows no bounds. It feels secure to just open up and let whatever happens, happen. To trust that while the flow will bring sadness and despair at times, that our best use of those emotions is to feel them fully and with the intention that our feeling be able to alleviate the suffering of others. To experience fully, we must be willing to take our turn on the hot seat and realize that our hearts are full and thankful because we are fully alive, and that is somewhat terrifying to those of us who want to control and direct our emotional lives.
A full and thankful heart is the payoff of a life well lived...not just the happy, but the sad as well. The moon is never full by allowing only half exposure. Gratitude never fully understood when limited in purview. Full and rich thankfulness comes only when we stand alone in the sun, basking in the glory of the whole gambit life brings our way.