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    My Purple Heart

           I received three priceless gifts yesterday.
           First thing in the morning, I got a call from my sister Cheryl. She told me that my piece Jordan Kelley had inspired a father to write a letter to his estranged son. The fact that something I wrote could impact someone in that way still hasn’t hit me. But it will. When it does, you’ll hear about it. Because I’ll hear about it. From within.
           I suspect that what’s blocking my emotional response to such a beautiful piece of news is my inability to fully honor my own writing. “It can’t be that moving”, I hear myself say, even though there’s plenty of information to the contrary. But I’m still having trouble absorbing the positive feedback, the support, and the wonderful little stories like these about what I’m doing. I need to get better at taking that in. Another inside job that needs some attention.
           Second thing in the morning, I saw that it was snowing out. What a perfect day to light and trim my freshly cut tree. So I spent the next ten hours lighting, trimming, holidayz-ing the house, watching football, and blasting Christmas music. All at once. Had loads of fun.
           The third priceless gift happened as I was unloading one of several massive containers full of Christmas goodies. I came across a very plain cardboard box. Thinking it contained one of my many special and carefully wrapped ornaments, I opened it up and found something even more magical. I found one of last year’s Christmas gifts from my principessa.
           There were two items in the box. One was a posable plastic action figure of a knight and his steed. On a Sunday afternoon last December, we spent a beautiful day shopping together in the center of her town. We went into a toy store, where I got excited over these little knights and horses. She remembered that and went back to get one. Maybe she even bought it there and then while I was gawking at something else.
           Either way, I loved the gift. Because it showed that she was paying attention. To me. To what I liked. To what moved me. Even if it was a silly little action figure. It didn’t have to make sense to her. She gave it because it mattered to me. And that endears me to people I love. Possibly more than anything else.
           The second thing in the box was a small black velvet bag. As I looked at the bag, I couldn’t remember what was in it. In the back of my mind, however, I wondered if it could It can’t be that. I threw that away when she broke up with me six months ago, didn’t I? During my three week tirade of anger? I’ve come so far since then, that that brief period of my life really is a little blurry. The way I felt, or didn’t feel, the thoughts I had. So much is different now.
           So I’m staring at this black velvet bag and I pour it’s contents into my hand. And there it is. A purple sparkly stone in the shape of a heart. I didn’t throw it away. No. I put it away. To be opened again at some point in time when I could completely receive it’s message. It’s message of tenderness. And caring. And warmth. And love.
           I then realized something else significant. At least significant to me and how I operate. Not only did I save the gifts, but I saved the box the gifts came in. I saved the paper it was wrapped in too. I only save the box and the paper under two circumstances. One, I love the box and paper and want to look at it again later. Or two, the gift means something incredibly special to me.
           Well the box and the paper were nothing to write home about.
           My heart always knew how much I loved her. While my head was working overtime to build walls around my heart, trying to protect it, inside those walls, my heart was tripping over itself.
           All the time I was with her, my heart was talking to me. I just wasn’t listening very well. But a part of me was listening. Because that part allowed itself to be guided by what I was feeling. So I was able act on that, and not on what my head was telling me. That part of me knew enough to put the precious gift away until I could fully receive it. That part was aware of how much the gift meant to me. Of how much she meant to me.  That part saved the box. That part saved the paper. And found it again. When I was ready.

    ©2008 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (plus Three More Priceless Rights) Reserved.

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