Tag Archives: soft hearts are easier to live with

Is a Soft Heart Worth It?

I hate to admit how easy it is to lose a soft heart. They can harden so quickly! Just by neglect or falling back into routine patterns of life or thinking! You don’t even need to have anything bad happen, or anger stir. All it takes is a critical or negative thought that it isn’t challenged or replaced by a balancing good thought.

This is so disturbing for relationships, it can discourage you. Especially if you don’t know how effective a good choice can be, or how good it feels to have a soft heart towards someone, especially your spouse, or that difficult child. (The one that is so not like you–but in reality is probably most like you and that is why you clash. That is hard to face as well.)

So today I’ve been thinking about how to keep my soft heart. I’m looking for things I can share with you that may be simple but make a huge difference. One is to remember how good it felt to have that softness toward said person (in my case my husband). If you haven’t felt that in a long time, you may have to reach way back.

And if that doesn’t work, allow me to describe it. It’s a feeling of harmony, of receiving and giving support, of no threat, of not needing to protect yourself, or your opinion. It’s feeling loved, valued, heard, SAFE.

It’s GOOD, and it is worth it.

Last night I was getting irritated because he was so blah from not taking care of himself (blood sugar, I’m guessing). This has always been a necessary place to stay out of. So instead of twenty questions, which he hates, I decided it was a good night to watch our Netflix movie. He wasn’t sure he even wanted to watch it, but it’s a favorite of mine, so I asked, he agreed, and it saved the evening. (Since I’ve retired, I’m not working as many evenings, and I like it, but it takes some getting used to.)

Today he came in from the store and asked if I wanted to get coffee with our friends, and I was writing. I was torn, and he could see it would take me a while to get ready, so he said, “I’ll just go.” In the past I would have gotten my feelings hurt, and there was a split second of choice, but I realized I wanted to finish this, and I felt very free and respected–that he had honored me.

If I find his shoes in the kitchen or the living room again, I just move them and remind myself that a day could come when I will wish he was here to leave them out. Or I remind myself of the things I forget to do–preplacing the toilet paper–I always forget on the way to the other bathroom!

Gratitude is so helpful. Reminding myself to thank him for getting me the new doormat for my office. I didn’t even ask! And it is so easy to forget to thank him.

I’ve also had a problem with wanting everything my way. It’s much easier to let him have his way or appreciate his taste, than it was, but if I start to feel it again, I say to myself, “Will this really matter 5 years from now?” Or better “…1000 years from now?” Now, I’d rather be happy than fight for my way.

I am so relieved to be rid of the need to fight for everything or over everything! If you know what I’m talking about, it probably goes back to some belief you took on as a child. Something like, if anything is going to happen for me, it will be because I made it happen. Put that with my other one, If I don’t fight I won’t get what I want, and you’ve got a mess. Add, everyone will hurt me, and you are definitely set up for relationship problems.

Don’t forget, all you have to do is own it, want it healed, and ask God to tell you the truth. He is faithful. He wants you to be healed more than you do!

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How in the World…?

Have you heard about the studies on memory? There’s a good reason to NOT insist that you know, that you are right: you are most likely wrong. Memory is very subjective. Most of us distort things that happen, or the things we hear, or what we think we remember.

Maybe you noticed that I did it in my last blog. I quoted God’s promise of a new heart as in Ezekiel 33:33 from memory, intending to check it before I hit publish. But I forgot. I knew it was great numbers, but also knew I should check. Well, I checked on it this morning, and it isn’t 33:33; it is 36:26, and I was embarrassed.

Most probably none of you looked, but someone may have just because it is a great reference–like No way! too good to be true. The numbers were too good to be true, the promise isn’t.

I can tell you I have my promised new heart. But I have noticed something very curious. When Spirit first confronted me on my hard heart, and gave me a new one, just for admitting my hard one and my need, it seemed much better. I was so different it was amazing to me. I loved it. But it was more like He had given me His heart as a loaner, until I had sense to ask for myself. Maybe just to show me the difference?

I don’t know. But the one I got on my request is much more like me. It definitely feels like mine. It is still better, easier to be nice, no need to fight, not self-protective, but it has my quirks. My first experience (His loaner) was not even having a feeling of resistance or threat or protecting myself. It felt like complete freedom! I wasn’t watching if “he” was doing things right, I wasn’t worried about anything! God would handle it or it didn’t matter. Even my husband noticed and said I was different!

And with my new heart I’m finding I can worry if I want. I can still squeak when he opens the oven on my popovers! And he can still say, “You haven’t changed,” in response. I think that was disappointing for both of us.

What did we think, that I’d be perfect? Nobody is ever going to be perfect here. The closer you get to God the more you see your faults. But it doesn’t feel as bad as long, because you know that He (They) are so gentle and tender and forgiving.

It’s all about perspective. Where you focus. I say this a lot, you will see what you are looking for--and it’s so true. But then there is the balance. You have to have your eyes open to come out of denial. Parents can often miss things that their kids need real help with because they don’t want to see it.

It’s difficult to live in an evil world! David expressed it with pathos in Psalm 55-59. The only safe place for hope is God. The only real one you can trust is God. The only goodness you can count on is God. And you can choose to praise Him!

When you live with your new heart, when you keep your eyes on Him, you can still be free and happy! But it is a choice. As Martin Doblmeier, an award-winning film maker, says, “If we are constantly moving, why not choose to move toward what is good, following the path toward what you believe to be sacred?” He’s talking about growing, and I would say, Yes! There are Three (Abba, Jesus, Spirit) who long to help us!

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