Hiding Places

‘I shall take the heart,’ returned the Tin Woodman; ‘for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.’
— L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Hiding your heart can be a very lonely thing. Whether from hurt, unforgiveness, anger, or comparison, we all reach that place in our lives where we begin to tuck away our hearts, our emotions, and our dreams, revealing only what we believe others want to see. We lock our hearts in the coffin of our selfishness and believe that we're truly protecting it from any future hurt or pain. We tie the key around our neck and we tell ourselves, well, things wouldn't have worked out anyways. Ah... but what if they did? Could we perhaps not be so much afraid of the possible failures in our future as much as we are our own potential? 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God that is within us... And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
— Nelson Mandela

The world desperately needs what you have to offer. You are the only one that represents the heart of God the way you do and you cannot let fear or comfortability keep you from discovering the potential that lies within you. There are dreams and desires that have laid dormant for months, years, even decades and your heart will never let you forget about them. We can choose to cut our hearts off, secluding them to harden within us, or we can embrace them and in doing so, we embrace who we truly are. 

Opening yourself up to your potential also means opening yourself up to getting hurt and possibly even failing a few times along the way. But the journey is where we live and where we also experience true adventure, beauty, friendship, and love. It's not the ending we're in charge of, but every chapter that leads up to it. So when it comes down to the choice between fear and our hearts, I think we should all have the same decision, "I'll take the heart please."