"Open, gentle heart. Big fucking fence." The advice I give on Love that took the longest time to learn.
So much of what I learned from New Age-ness was a spiritualized flavour of love that had more to do with looking evolved than actually deepening one's relationship to Love itself (which is to say deepening one's relationship to one's VERY SELF -- because you ARE Love).
So on the crusade to spirituality (and it was a crusade) "being loving" meant: letting everyone in the door (We're all one, after all); ignoring the mismatch between people's words and their actions (You're creating your reality, just change your thought forms and the people around you will behave differently); and generally taking more shit than anyone should (We all have issues...).
While I professed to suffer no fools, I was, you know, suffering some serious fools. And in all my efforts to love more more more for change change change, it actually never occurred to me to protect my most precious and powerful asset: My loving heart... Me. I thought that protection equated to closed. (It doesn't. Stay with me here.)
Closing my heart would be certain soul death. T W E E T ♥ Not an option. Shutting my heart half-way would be like shallow breathing for eternity, and I'm here to breathe life in fully wholly holy. So semi-openness was not an option either. So maybe...maybe there was something to this concept of... hmmm... protection... discernment...righteous honouring of my soul.
This was a long coming revelation that had me eating fire and offering my bleeding, mighty, devoted heart over to the Goddess. It was the Initiation of All Initiations to realize that Love (me...I) required protection in order to go beyond existing and to thrive.
My son is ten years old and totally soul-licious and steady-minded. Other than keeping him away from stupid drugs and predators, my number one mission with him: Keep his heart open and expressive. If I can help him remain tender and actually cultivate more tenderness, he can live fiercely. Here's what I tell him, regularly, like a favourite old story you love to tell, that loves to be heard:
"Keep your heart open, as wide open as you possibly can. Keep it so soft. Let it be tender. FEEL EVERYTHING. Feel your feelings, share your feelings. Keep your heart gentle, gentle, open, open.
And then... put a big fucking fence around it. Make it tall and make it strong. Ask your angels to guard the gate for you at all times. Do not let anybody past your gate unless their own heart is open and gentle. Only let in people who are respectful, kind, interested and loving. Emphasis on respectful, kind, interested and loving."
"Got it, Pookie?" I say to him.
"Got it!" he confirms. "Mom, can I say what you said, about the fence?"
"You mean the swearing part?" I ask.
"Only if you say the "open, gentle" part first. And then don't repeat this to anyone."
"Open, gentle heart. Big fucking fence!" Atta boy.
Laughter. Squeezey. High-five.
"You got it, Love."