Keeping the sacred Sacred

sa·cred/ˈsākrid/:: Adjective:
1. Connected with God (or the gods) or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration: “sacred rites”.
2. Religious rather than secular.

Ok, not gonna lie, that definition is slightly lacking. However, it is a good base to start with. We obviously know that God is sacred and anything related to him/the church/religion is sacred (or at least supposed to be). When something is sacred, we treat it with our utmost respect. We revere it. We try our best to keep it pure and protect it from prying eyes and nosey-busy-bodies.

So what did I mean by saying that the above definition was lacking? I meant simply this: it didn’t tell us practically what is sacred. Now, I didn’t expect it to either. It did an excellent job of generalizing the term as it relates to everyone. So I will put one thing on the list of what I think is sacred (and, coincidentally, connected with God).

Our heart.

You know – that muscle that pumps blood to our body. The thing that aches when we are hurt by someone, and the thing that makes us feel like we could fly when something goes right. So how do you keep your heart, which is our most intimate thing (it is, in essence, who we are!) sacred?

Before I talk about it, I suppose I should say why I’m talking about this. Lately (and by lately I mean over the past few months) I realized that I was emotionally invested in way too many people in my life. I was putting a lot of time into friendships and openly sharing my struggles with a whole list of people under the banner of “we’re brothers and sisters – we should carry each other’s burdens”. Now this is a true statement, I just took it a little too far…

I’m not going to say “don’t tell anyone about what you’re struggling with”. I think that is ridiculous. We are relational beings – we need support systems. What I AM going to say is this: we should be careful how much we tell and to whom we tell it.

Remember I said I was emotionally invested? This is how it started. I would be lonely and depressed, and then I would wonder why no one was talking to me. Then, I would find someone and end up pouring out everything I was thinking about. I used to think this was fine. I started to get some close friends. But THEN I realized that some of the friendships I had were no longer casual friendships. They were creeping into the realms of intimate, deep friendships. And worst of all, the ones with my brothers  were starting to venture, for me, into the mysterious gray area of “wait, are we … more than friends?”. Needless to say, I realized something was wrong.

I decided, through a lot of thinking while away at camp, that I had invested way too much of my heart into other people. I wanted to have a perfect friendship – no scratch that. I wanted a perfect relationship with someone who would always talk with me and be everything I wanted. I wanted it so much I was trying to get it without committing to someone. And by doing so I was only hurting myself.

I decided that enough was enough, and that I needed to keep my heart and my deepest dreams, hopes, and thoughts a secret. They are so special to me, and I cherish them. They aren’t things that just anyone can hear and hold onto – these things are special and should be saved. My heart is one of the most sacred things I have in my relationship with God and with my future husband. How can I look him in the eye one day and say “here’s my heart. You get all of it” when my whole life I rationed away parts of it?

Maybe I’m rambling, and maybe I sound like a million other blogs, but I really believe these things. I want to be able to have a parts of me that are special – parts of me that are only found out after spending time actually trying to get to know me. I am a complex person – really we all are – and I want to embrace that.

And the best part is that through protecting my heart and keeping it sacred I am bringing glory to God. What else could a girl ask for? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

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