The Heart of the Matter

Have you ever had people in your life that you swear are your ride or die crew? These are the folks that see you at your best and worst and still don’t expect you to be anything less than you are- yourself. Over the last few years, I’ve watched as friendships collapsed, new friendships emerged, loyalty among friends ran thick and frenemies became more transparent. It’s a different conversation.

One of my friends keeps reminding me that I internalize everything. I already know this but she reminds me that because I have a sensitive soul that I consider others feelings more than my own. Sometimes she’s right. Sometimes I want to be able to act out my frustrations like a child. It would be so wonderful at times to throw a tantrum and not have people look at me like I was nuts. Instead, I have to keep my emotions in check. That’s not always an easy task.

It got me to thinking about various issues that we are all dealing with. Our lives have changed dramatically. There’s no getting around that. We are being conditioned to keep wipes with us and wipe everything down consistently, washing our hands consistently, keeping masks on when we go out in public and praying that we can get some sort of normalcy back after all this commotion.

Yesterday, I caught myself crying for no reason. I think being cooped up so much is starting to get to me. I keep trying to stay positive and focused but like so many people it’s hard to stay away from the people and places I care for. One of my favorite restaurants is closing permanently. They’ve been a staple in this area for as long as I can remember. I fear this is only the start of more closings, more anger, and more frustration. I’ve started writing things down more because I don’t know how to deal with the emotions that are festering deep within my soul.

I turn on the news and hear a lot of different feel good stories that are having the light shed on them. Communities and churches are working together to help one another through these times. Some of the bigger companies are doing things to help their customers get through this without having to deal with too much drama. Smaller companies are struggling. No matter where you may fall, every person on this earth is at the heart of the matter with this virus and other pertinent problems we all face.

People are the common denominator of survival. I can tell you how people affect each other in times of crisis and joy but what good would that really do? It’s just words on paper. You want to know how people are at the heart? Look around you. Yes, you see struggles. I can pretty much guarantee you that there are people, even the ones struggling, who are doing their part to make life a little better for others. You won’t see them ask for fanfare. You won’t see a cape around them as they are the quiet heroes who never hear or see their names mentioned. It’s not about notoriety. It’s about doing the right thing. It’s about how they believe in working for not just the greater good, but the notion of doing their part to help us see better days.

If any of you live around farmland, you can see this in the land. The farms are built with hard works. The hands bear callousness, and are coarse. The land is rugged and yet beautiful with rows that show no signs of weeds. Each plant or tree is shown to exhibit its beauty and not the ugliness of what could and would surround it if people with heart weren’t involved in its facilitation. I have a fondness for churches for a few reasons. The first is that churches have an eclectic mix of folks who attend services. They have the so called Christians who go more for appearances than they do the faith. They have others who truly believe and do their best to not judge others and be there in times of need. At the heart of the church is the belief in God and that they are there to do good works. Yet, even in the middle of their faith is something that can’t be told in words. It’s their heart. Hearts can be so frozen that even the Antarctic can see warmer than what a person can carry when they’ve been so broken. The actions that we allow our hearts to do are based off our emotions and what may or may not touch us. I used to believe that using people for my advantage was not necessarily a bad thing. At times, this may be true. My heart had been shattered so much that I wanted to do the same thing to those who hurt me. Yet, at the heart of the matter, I was only hurting myself.

For every person that is hurting, if you are willing to lend a hand, you can change the world. If you have some spare food, share it with those who may not have any. If you know someone who needs toilet paper or toiletries and you have extra, let others have some. It’s the little things that show where the heart matters. The littlest things in life really are the things that matter most. As a society, we are the heart of it. The people cannot be replicated. But people can multiply. Society as a whole is good. The heartbeats that dwell within the society may be one or many hands, but what really matters is that the heart stays in tune with helping one another. If you don’t have money, that’s fine. Share your talents with the world. Money doesn’t define who we are. It’s only a stepping stone to a life that can be filled with positive and negative opportunities. Hopefully we can all get a sense of normalcy back soon but in the meantime, keep the heartbeat of hope alive because we all matter. Immigrants, blacks, Asians, all races, cultures and ethnicity matter. Be the change and light. By living our lives to the fullest even in the throes of change, we are all the heart of the matter.

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