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the simple life

"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tenderness (Part 2)

"Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life. " - Proverbs 4:23

I pay a lot of attention to my mind. I read. I discuss issues with friends. I do research on the internet. I spend a lot of solitary time thinking about things.

So when the above verse was shared, it struck me.

Above all else - guard your heart.

Let's not get into a complicated arguement on what is the heart and what is the mind. Let's, for simplicity sake, conclude that the heart is the emotional core of a person.

One of the things I struggle with constantly is my love for God. There are a lot of things I know about God - His love, His plan, my destiny in Him and His commandments. I know, in my mind of minds, that to fear God and keep His commandments is the most important thing in life.

Of course, I sin like everyone else. But what I struggle with is my love for Him. The things that I do for Him, do I do it out of love or out of a sense of responsibility and integrity. Many times I feel it's the latter.

When my friends tell me something that hurt them or disturb them greatly, I always tell them about the root of their problems or ask them to be strong and to look towards the future. It's always a rational approach, based on analysis and logic. But I almost never asked them -

How do you feel?

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me he just got a girlfriend. Instead of congratulating him, I was like "What she's like?" I was more interested in knowing the facts rather than affirming his emotional needs.

Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy about my ability to look at problems. Its a gift and a strength. But I believe that I need to look at my heart more, to pay attention to my feelings and the emotions of others. I believe I have a strong sense of empathy but I need to express it to people. I don't do that enough.

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