The heart is a sensitive thing. It gets pulled and pushed in so many ways and often ends up far too focussed on something not worth the attention or not focussed enough on the right things. These two frequently go hand in hand, but not necessarily all the time...
There's a difference between spending a lot of time and energy on something and losing a piece of your heart to it. For me, I get really into books—like many of us do—to the point where I only want to read and forget about commitments and relationships. The false reality becomes more tangible and pleasant than the real one.
I love doing this and losing myself for a few hours, and it is good to enjoy things, but it can be dangerous. It should be a concern when you constantly find yourself in one place and can only think and dream about being somewhere else with that someone else, or doing something else when in another time you would have loved doing what you are already doing.
There is an importance in being in the "here and now"; if we spend all our time on our phones waiting for a response from that certain someone we lose connection with the people around us.
I know it is hard when that person may be the only one that you feel truly understands you or when the people around you are being a bore, but there is something about face to face human interaction that can do us some good. If nothing else, you can develop your patience or make the other person feel worthwhile.
The other side of the coin
It is not always about being too emotionally invested in some things and thus neglecting others. Sometimes it is distancing ourselves from everyone in general and not risking being emotionally invested in anyone at all.
Where it may seem like a safety barrier keeping everyone at arm's length, it is damaging in the long run. You get into a cycle of keeping people out and then when you really need help, sometimes it is not that you have no one there for you, but that you might not know how to even begin reaching out, or you might not exactly want to either because it is uncomfortable to do so.
But it is so awfully lonely, and things can get distorted in your head when you only have yourself to discuss ideas with. Expectations of how people could respond is one of these distorted ideas that comes to mind. If that is you, remember—everyone is different, so while it is good to be cautious, perhaps be careful about being too quick to determine how someone will react.
It kind of reminds me of Matthew chapter 6, verse 19–21 where Jesus says, "do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
What we lose part of our heart to is the treasure Jesus mentions. The things we cherish here on earth will not last and, oftentimes, we will watch them fade away. Books come to an end, relationships lose their potency, distance gets lonely.
God is the only one I can think of that we can fully invest our hearts into who will never hurt us. He is an eternal treasure that invests in us even more than we could ever invest in Him. The entire Bible, and Jesus' ministry in particular, testifies to this.
So God is a good first—and predominant—love to have, but that does not mean we cannot love other people or things, of course. We are relational beings; we thrive on investing emotionally into healthy relationships.
Sometimes we do need the inanimate object to enjoy as well, but we have to be cautious not to let it get out of hand. Like it says in the Word, it is dangerous to treasure things that will not last. It is painful watching them decay and fade away or end abruptly.
And sometimes we also need to be distanced and not pour too much of our heart into others. We need times to ourselves and to not depend so much on our relationships, which not only leaves us unprepared for moments of solitude but can also be a bit intense for others as well. It is all about balance.
So how does this help me?
I have not written this with the expectation that all of us will suddenly be able to break through emotional attachment or detachment. That takes time and is far too individual a process for there to ever be a sure-fire way of approaching it. But the first step is acknowledgement and recognition.
I'm just here to provide some mental chewing gum.
Sabrina Meyer is in her second year at University studying English and History with a knack for procrastination and a passion for learning. Her spare time consists majorly of reading, watching YouTuber 'Let's Plays', and getting overly enthused about K-pop, with a dash of gaming to throw in the mix.
Sabrina Meyer's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/sabrina-meyer.html