Lessons in wholeheartedness

When I was a young man, about twenty, not yet very knowing,
I gave as much of my heart as I could to someone.
She, very beautiful to me, responded in kind,
but being slightly older, gave slightly less.
And so the affair played out over time.

In the confusion, pain, and relief of a long drawn-out ending,
it’s not clear what happened to the heart I had given.
I think most of it I called back in,
but I left a part of it behind, perhaps deliberately,
because I had loved her so much.
And I think she did the same, though slightly less so.

As a young man, growing older, not yet very knowing,
I tended to think my heart was finite,
and that if a remnant had been left behind,
there was therefore less available for someone else.
And so I loved less than I might.

Now that I’m older, and a little less unknowing,
I have listened to the wisdom of my children,
who have given me an inkling of how my heart functions:
it seems that if I give my whole heart in the right way,
my heart grows bigger, not smaller.
I am willing to experiment, though old habits die hard.

We’ll see how this affair plays out over time.

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