Join the Conversation: February Edition

I love to turn the calendar page. Despite having calendars on my iPhone and iPad and MacBook, I do still have an actual paper calendar on the wall in my kitchen where I record birthdays and important dates (the day in 1999 when I learned how to surf, the day in 2003 when I attended my first party at my now-husband’s house) — and where I spend a quiet moment every month acting out the passage of time by pulling my calendar from its hook, flipping a page over and revealing 30-some new little boxes.

A new calendar page also means a new installment in our Mother Sugar Salon: Join the Conversation series. Here’s how it works:

  • Answer the question of the month in the comments section below, or use the question as inspiration for your own blog post and comment with a link to your post so we can be sure to find it.
  • At the end of the month, we’ll reflect on your comments – how you’ve inspired us or changed our perspective (giving you full credit for your comments, and hopefully sending some readers your way).

February, the month of love notes and construction paper hearts and Valentines sent to friends (and, maybe, the opposites of those things too), inspired this question:

Print by CDR.

What are your rules for letting someone into your heart? Or: at times when your heart has been broken or filled or hurt or set on fire, what have you learned?

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14 thoughts on “Join the Conversation: February Edition

  1. I am learning to trust in my self again and with that comes a slight opening of my heart to myself and to my greatest as well as newest someones in my life. For me in starts from within and you better watch out when you are a part of my heart because I love passionately and fiercely. Great Post:) Happy Monday – Happy February!!!

  2. 1) I have no rules on this. I have instincts and I trust them completely. They haven’t let me down yet. I also have ridiculous levels of loyalty, so once you’re in, you’re in.
    2) When I have been hurt, the main thing I’ve learned is that forgiving the person is the best gift you can give yourself. Holding onto pain never does you any good.

      • Wise, eh? I like that. I don’t consider myself brave though, just a good judge of character or something. I also do think that when you see the best in people and expect the best of them, they usually try to live up to that. Or maybe I’ve just been lucky.

      • I completely agree, and love how you articulated seeing and expecting the best in people. I feel like it is a bit brave, though, to trust yourself and to trust the people in your life with such openness. Whether it’s your strong judge of character or some luck, or both, it sounds like you have some very stand-up people in your life.

  3. There’s always an element of regret associated with being too guarded — perhaps that’s just hindsight tainting our memories. I’ve never had trouble letting people in, and I have experienced pain as a result of rejection, and it really hurts at the time but there’s no other way to deal with it than to just get past it.

    Last year, my only brother cut me and my entire family off for no apparent reason. I didn’t think it would affect me as much as it did: I went through a phase where it was all I could think about, and I could feel my heart breaking, and then all those little pieces breaking again, but eventually I found my way through, and it was by accepting that I couldn’t control the way others’ felt and that those who reject me aren’t worth the trouble I give myself over it. It made me realise my priorities, who I value most in my life, and once I’d realised that the most important people still loved me as much as I loved them, and that they were still right where they’d always been, that one person who’d let me down and stomped on my heart didn’t deserve a single bit of my love — at least not right now.

    I still feel sad about it sometimes, but I feel better that I’ve come out the other side and I’m comfortable with the decision I made — to not let it upset me. Your heart may be a warm, inviting place to be, but only those who are deserving of their place there should be allowed to stay there — no one should accept anything less.

    • What a difficult thing to have gone through– with anyone you love, and no less with your only brother. I so relate to what you say about having no trouble inviting people in to that ‘warm, inviting place,’ and also learning what it means to be ‘allowed to stay there.’ Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Hmm, delicious question! I think I am a bit like Stephanie here. I have no rules but I wouldn’t say my heart is an open door. I rarely make conscious decisions about “who is in” or “who is out”. I usually have the sensation that my conscious mind isn’t really a part of that decision. The only rule my heart seems to have is a) feeling safe, and b) feeling that there is, at least on some level, mutuality.

    I’m curious to know if anyone else has ever experienced the actual moment when someone “steps into your heart”? That sounds a bit melodramatic or sentimental but there have been a handful of occasions in life when someone has said something to me or shared something with me and I “just know” that they’ve crossed the threshold. Has anyone else experienced that?

    What have I learned from being hurt? Well, when I’m hurt it’s usually because someone has knowingly or unknowingly made me feel inadequate, belittled, or unworthy. Sometimes I owe someone an apology. But more often than not (at least in my life) my hurt has been caused by someone else feeling inadequate or unworthy, and then lashing out me and others around them. (I am guilty of this too.) I’m trying to learn when it’s appropriate to own the hurt and make amends, and when it is in my best interests to let it go because it was never mine to begin with. If anyone has advice for doing this, you really must let me know because it is very difficult.

  5. I’m defering to Stephanie as well. No rules! Only intuition, baby! If I am going to let someone in it will happen quickly. I make descisions within minutes and like Lemon Tart said it is not a concious decision making process. I think I am a good judge of character and so far my intuition has done well for me. The truth is I have never experianced true heartbreak. I’d love to think that it is because I am such an excellent judge of character but more likely it is because I’ve been lucky or maybe a combination of the two. I have been accused of being aloof and cool in friendship and love. So perhaps, at the root, I am gaurded and that has saved me heartache.

    • Lucky you! And how interesting to consider how some guardedness may have saved you heartbreak, even when you seem on the other hand open and trusting in letting people in. I’m curious about that balance.

  6. Pingback: Join the Conversation: The Rules of the Heart | Mother Sugar

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