ON LIVING THE QUESTIONS
"Ultimately what drives us to resolve tension as quickly as we can is the fear that if we hold it too long, it will break our hearts.
This bedrock layer of fear is the one that interests me, for at least two reasons. It evokes more sympathy in me, for myself and others, than the ego's fear of looking bad or losing out, which seems whiny and pathetic. And the heart's fear of being broken is not fanciful: holding powerful tensions over time can be, and often is, a heartbreaking experience.
But there are at least two ways to understand what it means to have our hearts broken. One is to imagine the heart broken into shards and scattered about—a feeling most of us know, and a fate we would like to avoid. The other is to imagine the heart broken open into new capacity—a process that is not without pain but one that many of us would welcome. As I stand in the tragic gap between reality and possibility, this small, tight fist of a thing called my heart can break open into greater capacity to hold more of my own and the world's suffering and joy, despair and hope."
— Parker Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness