A Soft Heart, The Gift That Doesn’t Break

May Our Hearts Be Soft and Light As A Feather

The Language of the Heart, also known among some as HeartSpeak:  Hard-hearted, hearts cold as ice, The Grinch, Scrooge, and old Uncle Sam.  We speak of a heart’s desire. There are light hearts and heavy. Our hearts ache, melt, burn, soar. They weep, agonize, bruise, heal, and many battle scarred ones still give generously.

The Soft Hearts Don’t Break. They may cry floods but they don’t break.

Even those with hardening of the arteries can stay soft.  It takes more than cardio-vascular disease to harden a heart.

My Dad’s Heart was ‘the size of a walnut’ –

He had his first heart attack at age 50 and kept having them until his heart was flabbily soft and stopped working. That’s what happens with congestive heart failure, but it didn’t break.  His heart looked nothing like a walnut, but Dad spoke HeartSpeak, and that’s what it felt like to him.  I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone use the expression that something ‘tickled, or tickles’ the heart more than he did.

Dad was no saint; not in a Mother Theresa way anyway.  A ‘no-flies-on Frank’ guy he was not. What he was, was, a man who wore his heart on his sleeve, as the saying goes. And there must be a tattoo of a heart somewhere on his body because he had plenty. But memories fade as his tats faded toward the end.

He was, however, a most impressive virtuoso at speaking from the heart.  When he said something, everyone knew, it was straight talk. From querying curiosities to how he felt about the Yankees, politicians, Aunt Mary, and the Virgin Mary, his speech could be trusted as sincere; no fabrication, dissembling, or off-the-cuff.

Factually speaking, he wasn’t much of a liar or a poker player though, so he turned to story telling instead. Stories from the abundance of his heart.

The Heart Is A Good Teacher

Luke: Chapter 6, Verse 45

A good person draws from the goodness of his heart. Likewise, his opposite draws from his own and the nature of each is revealed in his words. For a person’s words flow out of what fills his heart.

This verse is often referenced when speaking of Integrity.

Cultivating A Soft Heart

Cry Heart, But Never Break by Glen Gingtved is a picture book about four siblings aware their grandmother is gravely ill, and Death comes to sit with them.

This book changed the way I think, feel and speak.

It is insidiously simple for a hard heart to grow to encase the soft.  Fear, disrespect, abuses of power, exhaustion, frustration, failure, loss, exclusion, just to name a few of the spores that so easily spawn bitterness, stubbornness, and blame that begin the process of hardening a heart. A heart being prepped for breaking.

It’s a Brave Heart that stays open and soft when it seems easier to build barriers, as against an enemy.  Open, soft, firm and strong, a Brave Heart is also a Listening one that hears the words from the mouth, understands and grows. It may cry and cry and cry as it washes away bitterness, stubbornness, and blame, but it doesn’t break.


*With special appreciation for Leonard Cohen, from Steer Your Heart, a gift.

Steer Your Heart ….. Year By Year ….. Month By Month ….. Day By Day ….. Thought By Thought     

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