Women will give coy smiles and giggle, then say, “It’s not about size, it’s how you use it.” But that’s a lie.
Because a heart closed by fear, pessimism, and doubt can’t be used, not fully.
Let’s go Dr. Seuss for a minute with the Grinch.
The dude had serious issues beyond eye twitching and dressing his dog up like a reindeer. Why? Because the Whos down in Whoville were celebrating life. Okay, Christmas, but there’s a bigger picture here. They were happy and he wasn’t, so they weren’t allowed to be happy.
This goes back to heart.
The narrator cleverly inserts: “But I think that the most likely reason of all, may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”
(CSI-like Exhibit A)
Closed or shrunken hearts can happen over time. Let’s face it, life isn’t always happiness and giggles. Cycles of unhealthy relationships are handed down from generation to generation like keepsakes. Moreover, if you’re not willing to participate in the negativity and codependency, then your punishment is withheld affection and love. Yes, love is used as a punishment in these dynamics.
But people have the power to smash the crap out of those cycles and make different choices.
I’ve written it before but it bears repeating:
The heart is like a universe, incomprehensibly vast and continually growing to accept new situations and people; never filling up because it’s endless.
While it can’t be filled, it can close off or get smaller.
How to stop it?
Well, there’s no ultimate manifesto of love, but I have a few ideas that are working for me.
- Only allow positive things and people in. This isn’t a call to arms to block out everyone who might be having a bad day, but it is a suggestion to love people who are chronically negative from a distance.
- Watch your words. Pay close attention to what you say, think, and write. If the majority of it isn’t positive, then stop and change it. Bring your thoughts and words back to hope. Evaluate the negativity, then turn it around to see the lesson in a situation or how to change it altogether.
- Make a conscious choice to take responsibility for your own personal happiness. Do, say, live the things that make you happy, and stop doing the things that don’t.
- Walk away. If someone is committed in a Grinch-like way to arguments, fighting, gossip, and misunderstanding everything you say, then pull up stakes. Life isn’t a battle. You don’t have to prove a point or argue one. Save your sanity and peace, then slip out the backdoor.
- While I’m on the subject of gossip… Don’t. Gossip is an ugly habit and hurts people. Period. So embrace the love and turn the conversation to how your kid picked every flower in the garden because he thought it was Mother’s Day, then destroyed the kitchen making soggy cereal and glitter laden cards. Everyone will chuckle, and you’ll all feel better.
- Be honest about what you want, who you are, and do it unapologetically. Again, not a screw you to the world. A simple to say: this is what I want for my life, and I respect what you want for yours. Sometimes, people don’t want the same things. Sometimes people choose to accept who you are and sometimes they don’t. The ones who support, understand, and respect your choices (and you) will stick around. The others will lose interest and find something or someone else to occupy their time. Not good or bad, not a statement about your worth or theirs, but a sincere realization that not everyone will get you. They don’t have to because it’s not their life.
- Control is an illusion, so don’t waste time or energy trying to master it. We have control over one thing – our choices. Not the consequences, not other people, not anything else that exists in the world. Only the choices we make. Take your time, choose as wisely as possible, then learn from everything that happens afterwards. If it gets totally screwed up, then make a different choice next time, but don’t wallow in what ifs. That’s a quick road to depression, anxiety, and crippling fear. This is 40 plus years speaking here. Again, save your sanity.
- Life is an adventure, so live it. Sometimes I go out and enjoy the world, but most days I’m perfectly content with doing that in my own backyard. If skydiving is your adventure, then do it. Just don’t ask me to go with you. I don’t jump out of perfectly good planes.
- Peace is an active pursuit, find it daily. Whether you’re into meditation or vegging to music or driving dirt roads with the windows down, take a moment each day to actively pursue things that put your soul at ease. Peace isn’t going to come find you, you have to search it out. As you remove negativity from your life, it’ll get easier to find, but it still takes conscious effort to live until it’s a natural state of being.
- Remember your heart is a universe and big enough to love the entire world. Do you have time to love the entire world? Probably not, but my point is – just like when a new baby is born – hearts and families expand to accommodate one more person. It’ll continue to do it for the rest of your life. New family members, friends, and even strangers on the street, there’s no end to how many people you can love. And just like the Grinch’s heart, yours will grow and grow until it’s nearly bursting out of your chest. But don’t worry, it won’t pop or anything. It’s custom made by some cosmic force to be pliable and stretchy.
This is you on love, only maybe not so green and minus the Santa suit. 🙂
(CSI-Like Exhibit B)
Is this going to change the world?
Maybe, maybe not.
Can it change your world?
Well, that’s for you to decide. All I know for certain is I’ve been traveling this path for a while and slowly putting these into practice. Sometimes I really suck at it, but I’m getting better. And in the process, I’m living happiness and peace in a way I never have before. When I screw up, I make a different choice. When things start flowing, I keep doing them. Things like lying in the backyard and hanging with my family while watching the sun set. If that isn’t pure love and happiness, then I don’t know what is.