Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
I recently spoke with a client about some of his strengths, including his empathy and self-awareness. As usual, this client did not see these attributes as strengths, but rather as his “Achilles Heel”. As we remember, Achilles was a remarkably gifted mythical warrior whose only vulnerability was his heel. Of course, Achilles was eventually taken down by an arrow to his heel.
I talked with my client about his great gift of sensitivity. I suggested that he needs to preserve this gift by guarding his heart, not hardening it. People with such sensitive spirits can be amazingly helpful and uplifting to others, but they may pay a high price of letting their hearts be vulnerable to being wounded and broken.
The goal is to guard our heart by being aware of tendencies which might cause us to over-identify with others. We need to have good boundaries, but at the same time, maintain an open heart. We must avoid becoming hardened to the pain we experience, thereby potentially becoming bitter, and actually losing that strength that is so important.
Finding safe places to process what we have experienced emotionally is critical to guarding our heart. We all need safe places to land, and people that we trust, in order to maintain a tender heart which can be of value to others, as well as ourselves.
Prayer: Lord, protect our hearts so that we can be of greater value to others, Amen