Someone wrote to me, "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ~Elizabeth Stone"
When someone decides for me who I am, I usually get triggered. Ms Stone didn't say "my", she said "your". So I got to thinking about my children.
My wife wanted a baby, and then didn't, and then did, etc. I was easy either way. One day she said the reason she waffles is that I wasn't committed to one way or the other. So I said, "OK, I'll commit to one way or the other." I think she thought I would say let's not. But instead I said we're going to have a baby, and I stuck to that, making sure it happened through her continued waffling until Christopher was born, thirty five years ago on Christmas Day.
When my wife and I broke up, Christopher came with me. Does my heart walk around outside my body? That doesn't seem a fitting metaphor for me. I love him and my heart is open to him, just as my heart has made a huge space for my step-granddaughter, Ava, who basically lives with us. And... my heart is mine; mine to burst with the thrill of love and break with the pain of loss, to feel pride and shame, to feel compassion and fear.
Over all I'm responsible for what my heart does, and it goes where I go. To picture my heart outside my body conjures implications of loss of choice, and abdication of responsibility.
And that's me. I love it when people talk about themselves.