Monday, October 26, 2009

"But never give your love, my friend, Unto a foolish heart"

This Grateful Dead song, Foolish Heart, written by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia came into my head years after I had last heard it to help me understand a vital lesson.

In 2003, I had been sharing tender, vulnerable things about to myself to critical people. Bart Anderson, the spiritual teacher that I was working with shocked me one day. He said, "They don't deserve your heart." This seemed to go against everything that I had learned from him. He continued (and I paraphrase), "Well, look at it. You and the people you are sharing with are coming from two totally different places. You are opening your heart and being vulnerable, and they are criticizing you and using it against you. Why would you do that?" I didn't have a good answer. But I did stop doing it. He called it "discernment."

Years later I recognized a similar pattern sharing vulnerable things with careless people. And, investing lots of energy in them. It was not working out well. I was getting hurt. This is when I remembered the Foolish Heart song. I stopped doing that, too.

I still allow myself to be vulnerable, but I am much more selective with whom I share sensitive things with these days. But every now and then, I forget and pay the price. That's about when I hear Jerry Garcia's voice singing, "...Unto a foolish heart."


  1. I'm still fumbling to figure this one out. I feel the toughest part of this lesson for me is how attached I get to the careless people I share myself with. I may be able to see that they are not deserving of my vulnerability but the hard part is moving away from those relationships. You have taught me so much about this concept and when I need that extra push to do the right thing, you inspire me. Thank you, Michael, for sharing with me. :)

  2. Your welcome. Thanks for your comment. I suggest asking yourself, What am I afraid will happen (or not happen- hint), if I move away from them?