At some point we all face the same decision – what will we do with the arrows we have known? What have they tempted us to do? However they come to us, whether through a loss we experience as abandonment or some deep violation we feel as abuse, their message is always the same: kill your heart. Divorce it, neglect it, run from it, or indulge it with some anesthetic (our addictions).
Our deepest convictions are formed without conscious effort, but the effect is a deep shift in our soul. We form commitments to never be in that position again, never to know that sort of pain again. The result is an approach to life we call our personality.
In every way that Romance is full of beauty and wonder, the Arrows are equally powerful in their ugliness and devastation. The Romance seems to promise a life of wholeness through a deep connection with the great Heart behind the universe. The Arrows deny it, telling us, “You are on your own. There is no Romance, no one strong and kind who is calling you into an exotic adventure.” The Romance says the world is a benevolent place. The Arrows mock such naïveté, warning us, “Just watch yourself – disaster is a moment away.” The Romance invites us to trust. The Arrows intimidate us into self-reliance.
The Romance whispers that we are someone special, that our heart is good because it is made for someone good; the Arrows tell us we are a dime a dozen, worthless, even dark and twisted and dirty. Where is life to be found? The Romance tells us life will flourish when we give it away in love and heroic sacrifice. The Arrows tell us we must arrange for what little life there may be, manipulating our world and all the while, watching our backs.
The only way seems to be to kill our longing for the Romance, much in the same way we harden our heart to someone who hurts us. If I don’t want so much, we believe, I won’t be so vulnerable. Instead of dealing with the arrows, we silence the longing. It seems to be our only hope. And so we lose heart.
Do you see the tug of war between the two? Have you felt it?
Have you felt this longing for “more” and yet your heart won’t let you go there? Can you feel where you’ve walled your heart off? There is a wound there behind that wall. Go find it. Deal with it. He came to set your captive heart (behind that concrete wall) free!