Today I would like to write about what I call the hidden core of the heart. The first time I learned about the human heart was in school. My biology teacher explained that the heart is a muscular organ which is made out of special tissues. Its function is to pump and circulate the blood in our body and maintain blood pressure to keep us alive.

But I had other questions. As I grew up, I kept asking myself, what is love? How does love feel? If I love my parents, then how should I measure this feeling, or even know that it exists? Do I love my father more or my mom? How does it feel to fall in love? Why should I fall in love?

After years of my own journey, I realized the heart is much more than what I learned about in school. The heart is the inner core that connects the mind and the soul. This core will be brighter and wider when the mind and soul have peace, hope, and happiness. It will shrink and get gloomy when the mind and soul are sad, unsafe, and hopeless.

My understanding of this core gradually evolved in different ways. Indeed, my heart became the main guide for my direction in life. As I listened to my heart, it showed me light, peace and happiness when I was moving toward the right decision. In contrast, it would give me gloomy feelings when a decision was not good for me.

This deep connection of heart and mind helped me to learn about the hidden core of my heart as well as to understand others. I told myself this hidden core is just “the inner real kid” of my heart. The inner real kid is that innocent one that has the truth. This real kid is born and evolves with nothing but love, honesty, care and affection.

This real kid has power when our lives get imbalanced, either in good or bad ways. When things are going well and dreams come true, the real kid will flourish and become cheerful. When things are not well and unexpected challenges happen, the little kid gets noisy and sad and broken.

This raises the question, who controls this little kid? The answer is, the mind and soul. The next question is, who controls the mind and soul? The answer is, we are the ones.

We have covered the little kid with different layers. I call them the temporary layers. We put different layers in our heart for different people that we communicate with. We may be less motivated, less open and communicative with one friend, and very open and cheerful with another friend. We may share goals and dreams with one and never do this with others. With some of them we may open deeper layers, and with others we may take back and not communicate anymore.

I would like to share my relationship experience with my father, who I always loved the most. My father had one of the most strict, conservative, controlling and harsh personalities I have ever met in my life. Since I was a little child, I was always afraid to talk to him. When he called my name, my entire body would shake with fear if I did anything wrong and he was mad at me. In my entire life, I never had the courage to go to my dad and hide in his arms and ask him my questions about love and if he loves me. I kept asking myself, does my dad have a heart? Does he feel down or sad sometimes? Can he cry like me as well? Does he also love me?

I always answered my questions based on what I had observed, based on his behavior. But those answers were wrong. Those answers were based on different layers of his heart, not the inner real kid.

The last conversation I had with my dad changed my answer to all my questions about him. He was not the person I had been scared of. He told me his feelings about his life journey, his experiences, his lessons from challenges, and his beliefs about my future.

He told me things that I would never imagine about him. I was shocked. I was not able to say anything. I just kept asking myself if he is really my dad.

I wish it was not our last conversation. Indeed, in that moment he opened the hidden core of his heart to me. After that conversation, I found him the kindest, most warm-hearted and caring father ever. He helped me understand the feeling of love. Love of my father is still the strongest support in any part of my journey. Now I know love is a flame of fire that can hardly remain calm. Love is the safest nest to grow in and love is the concrete wall to rely on. Love is the strongest feeling of the heart that keeps the core of the heart brighter and wider no matter if the person is physically around you. With the feeling of love, the heart hardly judges and it keeps the mind and soul in joy.

Indeed, now I know, the hidden core of the heart can be different from those temporary layers. I have learned my lesson. I will not allow the temporary layers to cover this hidden core. I will let the real kid flourish and be itself in any way it can. The truth is, I want to be myself for who I am, and people will decide to stay or move on. My heart does not have different layers. My last question is for myself:  Why can’t the heart stay with a hidden core only, without having any layers? How will it feel if the heart is real to everybody?

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