I know a gal who really loves her husband. They’ve been married for over 15 years and have a couple of kids. She is proud of her family and often sends updates on their successes. However, they rarely hear her say positive, loving things to them and they hardly ever see her heart. Her outstretched arm is keeping them at a distance. And it’s all because she fears pain and rejection. But a few times a year….birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries…she opens her heart to them. Only to close it again when the celebration is over. I’ve come to realize that, at this point in her adult life, she is unwilling to risk her heart. Oh, she loves deeply. I believe that. But to let someone know how deep that love is…well, that’s just not going to happen. Because if she does and they don’t receive it, the rejection experience will overtake her. Being generous with our hearts is risky business. Our willingness to open ourselves up to others brings about the possibility that we may not be accepted by them. And who likes that? Risk, along with his friend, failure, are a requirement to success. Greatness doesn’t happen to people who avoid risk. Risking our hearts can and, at some time or another, probably will bring pain. It’s part of life and being on a planet with fallible creatures. BUT (here’s the big but)…there are times when risking our hearts brings about such a sweetness to our lives that it cannot even be explained. Or contained. It oozes from you and makes you want to do generously love again and again and again. Have you experienced that? If not, what’s stopping you?