Monday, February 1, 2016

Heart Thinking and Breaking

The Mystery within...
I was surprised when I learned thinking occurs in our physical heart as well as our brain.  Initially I thought heart thinking would be the goal since I imagined it would soften the ego and our response to others.  But then I remembered Parker Palmer's On-Being reflection, "An Invitation to Heartbreak and the Call of the Loon" where he says there at least two ways for the heart to break:  "…it can break open into new life, or break apart into shards of sharper and more widespread pain." So that makes heart thinking and breaking, like everything else, a both/and thing. 

News features this past week broke my heart.  First it was of a grandmother that took a walk in the woods with her two-year-old grandson and became separated from him.  Days later the child was found dead.  My heart broke again on hearing of the death of three children in a house fire when the eleven-year-old sister successfully got one young sibling out but died trying to save two who remained in the house.

The last five lines in Mary Oliver's poem "Lead" read:

"I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world."

Hearts broken open must be the positive force behind human progress.

What if we all were willing to let heartbreak break us open to the rest of the world?

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