Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

Letting love in

I’ve been away from home (Robyn, Bo, Riley) more than I ever have over the past two weeks. It has been difficult, and at times excruciating. I miss them terribly. I think that’s a common feeling for many of us who are partners, husbands, and fathers.

Fortunately, the solitude has helped me learn a lesson about matters of the heart.  

I used to think it was dangerous to feel this way - to allow my own peace to be tied to someone else’s ability to fill up my heart and soul.

But I think maybe that’s the wrong way to ponder the question.  

Maybe what’s dangerous is not dependence on who fills our heart, but who opens it. If we are able to open our heart ourselves, why not let it be filled with love and peace from wherever it comes? 

This idea, of course, is predicated on the assumption that our hearts will be filled if we open them up. I’ve found that to be true, even from unexpected places or from unlikely or unknown people. Even when I’m far away from home - the universe has a way of filling our hearts if only we let it.

How we learn to open our hearts, especially when we are away from those we have the greatest intimacy with is hard.

I don’t have a great answer on how to do this. The best I can think of is to share what is in our heart.

If we share our heart - say in prayer, contemplation, self-expression, or intimate conversation - our heart is forced to open let those thoughts and feelings out. Once that happens, all we must do is keep our heart open long enough to let love in.

That moment between when my heart is opened and when it is filled is scary. It takes trust and is risky. But the alternative is keeping our heart closed. The risk is worth it.