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Tool of the Tender Heart

This morning I woke with a dream. It was a dream about my 13 year-old boy, training with a very sharp kind of martial arts sword. He was joyful. I was with him. We were both aware of the skill needed to use such a sword. In the dream, my son was helped by a former karate teacher, a man that was utterly skillful and committed to practice. A man who taught a lot more than karate.

I have been told that I have a tender heart. By some who adore me. By some who welcome the realness of tender, perhaps with awareness of the many ways that many of us have been taught to hold that in. At times I haven’t known what to do with that, or that I should do anything. I’ve shed tears. I’ve recognized the part of me that feels embarrassed to be tender. I’ve recognized the part of me that wants to be more tough, and more accepted in that.

This morning, thanks to this dream and a bit of attention to it, and thanks to my relationship with my beautiful son, I was able to feel these words about the importance of tenderheartedness. What a gift to see it in my boy, so as to see it a bit in myself too.

Tool of Tender Heart

What if the beautiful tender heart
were the most important tool
we could skillfully use?

What would it mean then
to cultivate that heart?

And what if exuberance
were the natural state?
What if welcoming it, that exuberance,
were a discipline?

We have many people to train with;
ourselves, family, old friends, strangers.

We have many that we can meet
in relationships of graciousness
to learn practices.

Practices for the much needed
beautiful tender heart
to help
ourselves
and to be of service
in these times.

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