Here are my first two posts which help explain the purpose of this blog. I thought I’d save them here on a special page before they’re lost behind in archived posts.

Birth of a new blog: Heart to Heart

Somewhere around my fiftieth birthday I started thinking seriously about what I could still achieve in the fifteen to twenty years I had left in the work force, and hoping I’ll have many healthy years after that to pursue leisure, creative and volunteer activities. I set goals, then made some tough decisions and changes to help me reach those goals. As of this writing, five years have passed since then. Sometimes I feel I am no closer than I was, that unforeseen challenges have blocked progress. Time to stop and take stock.
What was I thinking? In these five years I started and finished a master’s degree, started my own business while maintaining my annual income, kept up a large percentage of maintaining our home and daily life, helped my husband’s business through four months during shortages of office manager, front desk and phone system meltdowns, managed the stress of helping a teen stepdaughter through some serious challenges (that shall remain confidential unless she consents to my sharing them), and gave a large portion of my time to nurture and care for my live-in step-granddaughter! Whew, and, now that I think of it, all while battling fibromyalgia and menopause! Not too shabby after all.
This brings me to why I began this blog. About twenty years ago I felt a strong urge, “calling,” to write a book. Not just any book, but a book forged of the tough realities I had faced and found a way through; a book designed to leave a trail others in my predicament might use to find their way out of the thicket. At the time this book began as a workbook: a self-help book emerging at the end of the 80’s and early 90’s craze for self-help. I began. I fleshed out the main points, the table of contents and the first three chapters. About that time all hell broke loose in my life. I’ll spare those details for now–suffice it to say I scrapped the book, but the concept has been brewing on the back burner for quite a long time now. Now it is about to be reborn. Not as a self-help workbook (although that may happen some day), but a work of fiction infused with deep truths readers can assimilate into their lives if they choose. This book has grown in my heart and mind to now bear the status of primary bucket list item. If I were to die without writing it, I would feel that quiet kind of failure, the kind that isn’t so much an error of sin or malice, but of letting life slip away in all its routine chores, sidetracked pleasures, and distractions, robbing the deeper joy of creating a lasting work of art with the power to transform others beyond my few years here.
So, as silly as this may sound to the lighthearted, this is serious stuff for me. I want to share my heart here, as I work on this bucket list book. I don’t know if it will ever come to be. I don’t know if I will be typing into a vast void of Internet space or if anyone out there will read my musings and relate. I hope to build relationships here, to network, to learn from others who are writing and living in dedication to leaving this world a better place than we found it, or at least to try.
I’m not planning on writing the book here. I will be doing that in private, sharing snippets as it goes. What I plan to write here is the process of writing the book, the issues that challenge me as I go, thoughts that encourage me, poems and other writings from my past, and anything that’s on my mind that I’d like to share with the world.
One more thing I might mention: this heart to heart sharing doesn’t come easy for me. Although I am a warm and authentic type, an INFP for those of you who are familiar with the Myers-Briggs Types, I tend to keep my deepest thoughts and feelings reserved for only a special few. So I guess that makes you special and dear to my heart! There is something about depth that draws me. Chit-chat, gossip, and small talk leave me wanting something more. I sense God in the deep, and I think maybe most people do, but we don’t know how to say it or share it. Many people don’t know how to be comfortable in deep conversations or relationships, yet we need them. Don’t you think so?
Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. –Psalm 42:7
© Joan T Warren

What does it mean to live heart to heart in a shielded world? What does it matter?

Today I passed the television as it played to an empty room. Katie Couric’s show was on, a first for me. She interviewed teens who nearly lost their lives from designer drugs. A young man explained how he got into Molly (ecstasy, MDMA, reportedly in its purest form) and began selling it to support his habit: when he tried it, it made him “feel like telling all his secrets” to someone, and in less than hour with someone he felt a close bond, like he’d known them forever. Wow. Sounds like the drug intensified then satisfied a craving he didn’t even know he had–a craving for intimacy, a craving for authenticity, a craving for feeling open and close to another human being. It’s too bad he needed a drug to give him that, since the side effects are so disastrous.

Living heart to heart is perhaps a bit like Molly, except it is real, throughout, and there are no significant negative side-effects. Living heart to heart is practicing honest, transparent, close and intimate relationships. Living heart to heart is an art, creatively risking authenticity, owning one’s own issues responsibly, and imbuing value to others. On top of that, it really feels good! Living heart to heart in healthy relationships is deeply fulfilling, abiding and sustaining; more so than a drug could ever be. Unlike living with Molly, when living heart to heart there is no need to worry about those nasty side effects–the resultant broken conscience, costly addiction, crash time, headaches, brain damage, psychosis, stealing or dealing, jail time, ruined relationships, wasted life, death.

Living heart to heart, as good as it is, is difficult–perhaps because we live in a shielded world. Imagine two intimacy-hungry souls, longing for deep and abiding, respectful relationships. Now imagine them both hiding behind full metal armour, holding up shields as they peer around corners in search of this love. Not too likely they’ll find love this way, is it? As counter-intuitive as it seems, we hide behind protective armour. We do it in countless ways. Perhaps we blame others, present an angry front, gossip, or avoid social situations. Some hide behind joking, focusing on sports or even helping others. We learn our defensive mechanisms early in life. From early childhood we are socialized to inhibit our true feelings and behave in an acceptable manner. We learn to say “yes ma’am” when we really think ‘no!’ We learn to smile when we feel like crying. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating the whole ‘do what you feel’ thing! What chaos that would bring! In learning to live in this world, we’ve had to find ways to get along. We’ve learned that people, in general, are faulty. They tell our secrets. They talk about us behind our backs. Some intentionally use us, pretending to be our friends and then taking advantage of our trust to get something for themselves at our expense. Some are just plain evil, stealing children, killing for your wallet, and such. So we really have to find ways to protect ourselves. In so doing, we’ve developed facades and shields.

It takes a great deal of fortitude to drop our shields and risk living heart to heart. There’s no rule that says we must do so. It matters, though, because we don’t want to throw our lives away on less fulfilling and more dangerous ventures. As with recovery from any unhealthy choice (such as drugs like Molly), we need time and a good plan to build a new, stronger way of life. Strength of this sort requires regular work-outs and sometimes a coach or trainer, to point us in the right direction and give us encouragement and prodding. Gaining the valor for a heart to heart lifestyle will be a journey, not a once-and-for-all event. It’s probably best to find a safe place to begin the journey, to test the water, and to take it one step at a time. You are welcome to come back and visit me here as you think about this journey. I will do my best to make it a safe place to be. It may not be here that you feel comfortable, but somewhere. . . share your adventure, share your heart, honestly.

© Joan T Warren

16 responses »

  1. Thanks for looking through my blog! I happened to be online so I popped over to your blog – this is some good writing (I started with Excuse Me they’re Killing People series). I am following now, I will be reading some more as time goes on.

    Thanks again for stopping by!

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  2. Pingback: Liebster not Biebster | Joan T. Warren

    • No need to return the follow, I can only imagine what it must be like to have so many followers. Thanks for stopping by, I’m sure we’ll chat again as I see many posts of your I’d like to read.

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  3. I didn’t see a comment space under the post on political correctness. Wanted to say I so enjoy your fun quirky voice. Btw, you might wanna go with Others’ Posts I Like or even better, (My) Favorite Posts of Others or Posts of Others I Love…the Others’ with Recent is a mouthful. Of course, nothing more than my one cent. Take or toss.

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  4. Pingback: Lovely New Blogger | scottishmomus

  5. Hi Joan I just popped over to you give you a link I thought you may be interested in and I’ve just noticed that I missed 2 of your posts I didn’t even realise that they had been posted or else I would of come to read them. Anyway I’ll definitely come back to read these but here is a link http://celticmythmoon.com/moon.html I was looking into different things about Full moon names and I found this page that has all the Celtic names for moons which would be your Irish/Scottish heritage but also I noticed on the same page they had the Cherokee names for moons so it made sense to bring it here. Feel free to delete this comment once you’ve read it because it’s not really relevant to this page but I didn’t know where else to leave it. Anyway must dash but I shall be back, and by the way it looks beautiful here now it’s a lot clearer, it was as if a thick fog had set in before or was that my eyes, but now it feels beautifully bright and sunny and fresh. All the best, bye for now.

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    • Thank you, friend! Glad to have you back, and sorry it was a bit foggy here at the outset. I wished to have a beautiful view in the background with text overlaid bright enough to stand out over it, but the template I chose did not let me change my text boxes without my taking hours to decipher and enter code. My life is a bit too full for that so I settled for the white background, it does make it easier to read. I do admit to having some site-envy of your blog, where you have so artfully created the sense of a rainy evening, the reader safe inside with the hearth keeping us warm, as we sip a warm cup of (insert choice here!) and ponder nature, relationships, musings and such.

      Thank you for thinking of me too with the Celtic & Cherokee moon names! Nice to think that here in July as we head out this week to Cherokee country for a respite and family reunion, resting and playing in a gorgeous setting on a mountain lake, that we’ll be under the Calming Moon.

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      • Errmm I think they made their only mistake with calming moon, which I had wrote in my blog and then saw it somewhere else as Moon Of Claiming, and in fact everywhere says Moon Of Claiming so I presume it’s right. I’ll claim Nova Scotia if no one objects. All the other names of moon are correct. Bye

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