Have you ever stopped to think about that question?
Maybe you wonder how some people seem to have an endless supply of compassion to give others? I am amazed by mothers and fathers of families with more than one child. How can they ration their of love between the many little mouths and brains to fill? Or teachers! Every year seeing new faces walk into class. Every year growing, nurturing and caring for these youthful souls; some, more than the child’s own parents, then to start over next year. Won’t they ever run dry?
Or conversely, perhaps you find yourself bewildered at a time of life that the joy of people’s abounding acceptance will be too much for your valuable organ and it may just BURST! I know…. such a predicament to be in, right?
In recent blogs I have shared small cameos of the difficulties that I have wrestled with over the past few years. How life came down heavy on my spirit and squashed the ability to come up for air. There was a day during one of my lowest times in which my husband point-blank told me “I cannot be everything you need! I cannot be ALL of the things you want wrapped up in one. That’s impossible and too big an order for anyone to ask of another. You are going to have to go out and find what you need in other people!”
This day was the day that my bubble of life burst and I saw that neither my husband nor myself (in the state of mind I was in) could retrieve any air compression to blow it up that bubble again. This meant… work! It meant I needed to go and do something for myself. But I’m the one that has to do things for others, never for myself! I had no clue how to do that – and it simply paralyzed me!
I am not precisely sure how I got from that day to this. The tipping point for me, the day I first EVER asked myself this question, was the day of my daughter’s wedding. The beams of joy that joined her eyes to her husbands were magical – as to be expected for a wedding. No, it wasn’t only their bliss that made me stop in my tracks and wonder how much love one human can take. It is because the grooms family, all 60-some of them in attendance, welcomed us with open arms, warm wishes and welcoming touches. I was so overwhelmed with pure joy and love, it took me nearly 2 weeks to come down off that high.
It has now been about 2 years since the day the bubble burst. So many people have come in and out of my life since then, and it surely cannot be said that it was just one being or a certain event that could be given credit. Looking back now I find the most interesting thing is that those that have made the largest impact, were people who were not new to me at all. I had already known them but through time, distance or circumstances we separated. Cousins, high school cohorts, neighbors from the past and maybe even a soul-sister or twin-spirit thrown in from my distant past.
Coming to this conclusion, I have also realized something else about myself. I am not a “changed” person now. Rather, in honesty, I have not been my true self for a very long time. The depression was what changed me. It stifled the fun-loving girl. It suffocated the spirit that longs to run wild and free in nature. Breaking free of the depression restores my inhibitions, confidence, joyousness and love of uplifting relationships!
There are multiple names and stories I could go into detail on. Each person’s kindness or sincerity acted as a link in a chain, connecting one with the other. And the chain-link they built helped remove that dark and heavy burden of worry and selfishness that was my demon. Slowly they gathered strength in numbers to lift the weight completely from my life and I have never been more grateful! For they were the ones that I shared my youth with and grew up around. They were the ones that molded “me” the first time and in their unwavering friendship, returned to help me find that girl again.
So to return to the question: How much love can one heart hold?
Well, the heart after all is a muscle and by nature muscles expand and contract to the needs of the work it needs to do. Likewise, our heart will expand and contract on an as needed basis. We can never find enough people to fill a crevasse. Some friends have the exact jigsaw shaped likeness to fit in a place that so desperately needed it. Others are pliable, conforming and squeezing into an area lacking. But let us also keep in mind that the heart is not the only life-giving mechanism. For without the blood and it’s circulation in and through the entire body, we would be dead as well. Some people, the rare ones, are that blood. The energy they produce as they circle your bloodstream makes you tingle. The days you go without their flowing through your veins and in your life, are the days there is no warmth and no pep in your step. The rushing flow of blood makes your heartbeat a little faster and you FEEL and KNOW you are alive with each pulse!
I know that I may be risking the chance that some, one or two or more of you may be reading this and by this time have given up hope. Given up on people or yourself. Cannot relate in any way, shape or form to the words on this page. To those people, please hear me when I say: I KNOW that place you are in. I understand how drained you feel and how much you may want to strangle the “happy-go-lucky” author that dare share her smile in my darkness! I GET that. I have been there too. I have hated people like me as well. To you I have to say the same things I hated hearing: “go out and find what can fill your needs”. Go do the work. If you don’t do it, NO ONE will do it for you. You have to dig deeper, be honest with everyone. Shake your demon and find your true self again. Remember and seek out the things that excite you and makes your blood rush through your body, pumps your heart and leaves you tingling with happiness! It is in the discovery of these fulfillment, that you will find the love to fill and even expand your heart!