Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Heart First

I had a conversation last week. I spoke to someone I used to be involved with. It was one of those relationships that had the potential to be very intense, very consuming. Except that neither of us was at a stage in our lives when we could afford to be consumed. So we both held back and stepped back. We've remained casual friends over the years. The kind of friends who talk by phone a few times a year with the comfort and ease of people who speak every day, without any overwhelming desire to pursue anything more. Because we really don't want anything from each other, I think it makes it easy for us to be very open in our conversations. It's nice to be able to occasionally speak with someone who I don't feel at all inclined to pull punches. I say what's on my mind and don't worry about whether or not he can take it. I'm amazingly honest with this person, and oddly, it allows me to be more honest than I usually am with myself.

So last week we had a conversation, this man and I. I think I'll call him Spirit because he takes great pride in exploring his spiritual side. And during the conversation he said that when we had been involved he perceived me as being very emotionally detached from the situation - that I had not allowed my heart to get into it. To some extent he was right. I saw the situation for what it was and knew that it wasn't a safe place to let my heart roam free - so I protected it. But I can't say that my heart wasn't in it.

My heart is ALWAYS in it. I am incapable of being in ANY kind of relationship without my heart being in it. In fact, it's my heart that leads me to people every single time.

The only way I could explain it - the only way I can understand it, is that I develop crushes on people. Not just men - and not necessarily romantic or sexual crushes...but I just find myself drawn to people, wanting to get to know them, wanting to relate to them, to be close to them. I see or meet certain people and my heart wants a connection with them. This heartfelt desire is at the root of every single relationship I've ever had - and many I've never had.

Now, I've always known that first impressions are a big deal for me. I have a tendency to either like or dislike people immediately on meeting them. Most people discount first impressions. They're thought to be superficial - that old "Don't judge a book by its cover," mentality.

I've learned, over the years, that first impressions, at least for me, have very little to do with how someone looks. I'm not judging people by their "cover." It's something else, something different - a feeling, a "vibe" that either attracts or repels me.

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