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I love this quote by Edna St. Vincent Millay
"Renascence" [1912] last lines:

The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky, ---
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Father away
On either hand;
The soul can split the sky in two,
And let the face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That can not keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat --- the sky
Will cave in on him by and by.

The book I was reading that contained this powerful poem stated, "An open heart looks outward. A closed heart looks inward. Open hearts create energy. Closed hearts deplete energy. An open heart isn't really as much a matter of time as it is a matter of being present, available, and open to whomever is in my physical space at any given moment."

Hmmm....with everything we've learned about 'what gives you energy' for introverts vs. extraverts and what it means to know yourself; this really gets my mind spinning. I love the message of keeping a soft and open heart. I believe love really thrives and grows in that sort of 'soil.' But does this author intend to imply that by being depleted by when 'present' sometimes, that it is just a matter of having a closed heart in that moment? How can I reconcile my beliefs of trying to be a loving person and following God's example, with loving myself and allowing time for introversion without it meaning 'closing my heart'? This is another example of where I want things to be black and white, but where 'both are true' is probably more accurate.

How does this apply to my changed friendships? How can I determine if my times of 'pulling away' from anyone is from a selfish, 'closed heart', or unrelated to my openness to love, but simply an important step of self-care? I want to pay attention to this. I want to do better to have a heart like my Savior's. When I feel His love, I am Full and I have more to give. I am more open. Perhaps that is the missing link. When I start to feel depleted, and ready to close off, it is time to ask Him to soften, open, and enlarge my heart, to fill it with His love. This starts with me feeling His love for me. Do I feel His love today? Now? The author said: "My capacity to experience His love is the model for how well I love others."
 
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