Betrayal has a way of causing a hardening of the heart. In medicine, if we give too much calcium we can end up with a condition we call stone heart. Due to electrical imbalance, the heart just freezes up and won't beat.
The heart of a child needs the right stuff too. Love, discipline, attention and affection. I only mention this because I've realized that my emotional heart is a bit erratic. Sometimes it's overly excited. Sometimes it's unresponsive when it really needs to respond.
The other day my wife was feeling really down. I wanted to comfort her, needed to comfort her, but all I could do was listen silently. My thoughts were all about how her angst was making me feel. So I said nothing and she finally stopped talking and fell asleep.
I don't know how to handle people who are upset, especially when they are upset with me. I either go silent or defensive. I either freeze, run, or fight back. It's all about me. But it's always been all about me. I had no one to turn to, no safe place to go. I withdrew into myself and stayed there. I hardened my heart. I will not be hurt anymore. I will not feel the pain.
The problem I've discovered is this. When you turn your heart to stone so the pain can reach you, the love can't reach you either. I need to learn to soften up, let the walls down. I'll feel the pain, but I can feel the love also. It's scary, it's not easy, and I'm sometimes very afraid of what might happen.
I'm a grown man now though. I'm not a frightened lonely needy little boy anymore. I can learn and maybe I can really connect emotionally even in uncomfortable situations. I'm not alone anymore and that's a big difference. I need to remember that.
Just my thoughts.