Poets, artists and musicians remind us that hearts can grow cold and become hardened, they say even becoming like stone. Young and old alike experience “stuff” that can cause emotional numbing… it’s a natural response to tune out what causes heartache. To protect ourselves from further harm, we repress bad thoughts, memories and attitudes. Saying “I don’t care” feels good after enduring trauma, sorrow… or any form of negative interaction.
Caring feelings can be costly in a seemingly hostile, divided world. Technology that was meant to connect us can at the same time be feeding us a steady diet of division. This fuels “uncaring” in a world where selfishness seems supreme. We anesthesize ourselves, avoiding shame, fear or tears. But tears can be medicine for our hurting heart… we were meant to care deeply. Not just about ourselves, but for others, too. Take the first step to meaningfully connect with someone. Social distancing is a misnomer. Physical distancing (with masks) in the midst of a global pandemic is what we need to be doing to protect others and ourselves. It is important we maintain connection, particularly when 2020 seems intent on tearing relationships apart.
Sharing vulnerable feelings can be hard, but it’s necessary to soften hard hearts with care. If your emotional system is offline, fear is reduced. But also disappearing is joy, delight, wonder and pleasure. Not only is the heart hurting, the brain can go into survival mode, making matters worse.
Softening the hardend heart is the answer, not intellectual answers… but how? It is the warmth and caring of others that break down emotional defenses and bring back life, and love. We are meant to be interconnected, not vulnerable and alone. God designed us to be safe and secure as we attach to one another. Caring is the cord that binds us together and allows us to be caretakers for each other’s hearts. Let ISC know if you need a caring person to talk with… we are here for you.