Language of the Heart

“The heart has its own language. The heart knows a hundred thousand ways to speak.” ~ Rumi

During my frequent phone visits with Doris, my mother-in-law, she usually takes a moment to catch me up on the latest with her little chihuahua-corgi-mystery mix, Jada. It occurred to me that animals often have one of the most direct routes to our hearts.

Think back to an animal you loved as a child. Couldn’t you say the same? Did you, too, learn to love something not created in your own image and likeness? Did an animal open your heart to love?

I remember one such experience.

I had just finished a run along the Lake Michigan shoreline and decided to cool off by the water. My mind at the time was cluttered with a thousand little thoughts and worries which held me hostage and kept me feeling blue. Running had always been my way of carving out a little peace of mind for myself, but on this particular occasion the magic didn’t work.

So I gave up on the idea that my mind would know peace and opted to find a nice spot of grass to lie down and stare at the sky.

Before long a little mutt, off leash, came bounding over to me and began to jump all over my weary body, her tail wagging, begging for my attention. In no time she had it, and before long we were having a love-fest.

She was perfectly delightful and I was perfectly delighted. I became totally committed to that moment, one hundred percent focused on the dog just as she was focused on me. It was play time! 

My joy in the moment made me forget all my problems and offered me precisely what I needed.

  • a lot less mind
  • a lot fewer thoughts
  • a lot more heart

Perhaps we might discover something about loving those not born in our image and likeness if we learned the language known by the other animals in our communal kingdom, a language in which they sometimes seem to have a greater fluency.

We might discover that happiness can be found in our problematic world through the simple enjoyment of play. 

Our friends in the animal kingdom are not seized as we are with:

  • conflicting motives,
  • convoluted agendas, or
  • mixed messages.

Animals are gifted with the ability to include in their circle of friendships creatures far different than themselves.

For instance,


  • when you need someone to lean on


  • when you need a helping hand or (back)


  •  when you need someone with whom to share a secret


  • when you need a little arm (wing) for extra warmth


  • or when you need a friend to share your load

My encounter on the shores of Lake Michigan showed me that so many of life’s joys can only be experienced through the language of the heart.

What would it mean for me to open up my circle of friendship to include more of my neighbors, even those who don’t look like me? Wouldn’t I, too, be opening myself up to the joy of focusing on something that wasn’t — me?

For that lesson I can only say,



Just a thought…


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