This morning, a Facebook friend posted this comment: “Today I will stop giving so generously and freely … I close my heart.” I was deeply saddened when I read this. Guard her heart, of course. Do self-care, of course. But close her heart? No. Please, no.
There will always be people who will do what they can (consciously / unconsciously) to take us down. There will always be people who don’t like us … not everyone will like us. Whether it’s family or friends, colleagues or acquaintances sometimes, we are Just … Not … Liked. But, it’s not a reason to close our heart.
Maybe the reason they don’t like us is because of our religion. Maybe it’s because of our gender or sexual preference or language or skin colour or … Maybe it’s our choice of partner/spouse or their choice of us. Maybe it’s our personality or our clothing or our food choices or our history or jealousy or envy or fear or hatred. Maybe it’s because of who we support politically. It could be any number of things.
The bottom line is that not everyone will like us. Sometimes, we are Just … Not … Liked. No identifiable reason. When I learned that stark reality, I also learned that it’s not my problem. It’s theirs. And in that discovery, came another learning.
As long as I did my best each day; as long as I loved myself (’cause I believe that I can’t ‘love God or my neighbour’ until I accept / love myself), I could be myself. And in so doing, life became more gentle, more fun, more enjoyable and more loving. I never want to close my heart.
May we never fully close our hearts. The consequences of such a decision are too tragic to consider.
Animal Portraiture Artist
(done in pastels)
© Hans van der Werff