October 28, 2008

Warm Hearts

Often I find myself avoiding people who appear to be struggling with anger, fear, or frustration toward me. And to a certain extent, that is considered a healthy boundary. In fact, I've become pretty good at letting people work their own "stuff" out, yet it often shuts the door to a potentially healing situation between us. Boundaries are good, yes, and necessary. But to ignore the pain or struggle of another completely will not provide growth and healing, which is a pretty remarkable process to experience. I know I am on this earth to live and interact with others in order to gain insights into who I am and who I want to be. We are reflections of one another~reflecting both positive and negative traits. Whatever fault I find in another, I'm sure that is one of my top faults as well. And whatever I respect and admire in another, I probably hold that trait close to my heart too; therefore I recognize and appreciate it. Ultimately it is my goal to reflect Jesus back to others, reminding them of their Creator and that they are loved. To step into an uncomfortable situation in order to find peace and understanding with another is brave. But there is a way to do it if you cannot yet be in their presence: send love.

While trail running the other day (in 40 degree weather), I found a large amount of hearts rocks. This is typical for me. I'll go weeks without seeing any, then all at once heart rocks seem to catch my eye in the dirt every few feet. Today the bounty was plentiful, and I could not fit any more into my back pockets (which were making my butt look quite large, I might add!). So I decided to hold the large heart rock I found instead of overstuffing my pockets. At first the rock was so cold, I didn't want to hold it. But I knew it was worth holding because it was a really nice, big one. Perfect for my collection! But holding it was not comfortable at all. I figured my hand might warm it up a bit over time, but the rock was so deeply cold, I really doubted my already-cold hand would ever warm it up. But I held it anyway. And then something special happened: within ten minutes, the rock was unusually warm, even a bit hot. I placed the rock on my face--because my cheeks and chin never do warm up outside when it's cold--and this heart rock transferred an amazing heat to my face. This got me thinking . . .

When involved in an uncomfortable situation with another that needs healing, our first response is often to shut down and self-protect. But what would happen if we opened up by sending love to that person? We don't even need to be in the same room as the other is in. Just empty your heart of all its suffering, and fill it with God's light and love. Send that love to whomever you are at odds with. This is a form of prayer. I believe this is prayer at a very selfless level. While I was holding the heart rock, my warmth and heat (representative of light & love) transferred to it. And here is the VERY special thing. The heart rock that once was so stone cold soon had an incredible gift to give me: heat (which I needed at that time). You see, when we diffuse a negative situation by infusing it with light and love, we often get something special out of it. Many times I have seen this work in my life. The person who was sent love by me instead of negativity often softens and warms up, transforms even. After all, love in its finest form is transformational.