On Openheartedness

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time, there would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed…I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.
~ Thomas Merton


Here’s why we don’t go around with open hearts… it hurts. We would cry at everything. It hurts even as it opens. It’s an aching, a pulling, in the center of the chest. This can go on for months… years, I suppose. Plus, it blurs the lines between what is right, who is wrong, which is best. There become all shades of gray, and then just light. Our minds prefer black and white.

So we sip little bits of openheartedness… at weddings, and funerals. We let a movie bring us to tears. We dare when we are falling in love to lay our hearts out, bare. Then we close them up again and go on, get out there, do our worldly work.

How silly we would look, going around worshipping each other, as Merton said.. or crying over the sight of every child, every tree or each sunrise. But I feel like that sometimes. Like the Beautiful Truth wants to take me over and tears just stream from my eyes. One day I shall let it until the end of the tears…. until I learn how to take it, and walk around here with an open heart.




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