If anyone asks: I am currently in the process of coaxing my heart away from turning into an Oreo Cookie.

You can laugh now... I have even provided you with space to do so right here: __________________________. But I am pretty serious about this one.

Lately I adore making sense out of life by use of food metaphors. I find that I am easily addicted to turning life's sours into lemonade and talking consistently about "cake" in my life that I want to have and eat too. There is just something about food that lends itself as a dynamic duo of universality and durability when it comes to talking about the hard lessons we need to learn. Plus, it is not so serious. While it is hard to laugh about the state of my heart, it is easy to laugh about Oreo Cookies.

This "Oreo Cookie" heart of mine hatched from a conversation with a friend of mine. We ALL have this kind of friend: the one who says it just as it is. No chocolate frosting to sweeten these answers.

I was mid-mini crisis and so I called him to meet up. I can always count on him to carry Resolve, Wisdom and Directness in one hand, and a Latte in the other.

"Ok, Hannah." He says, looking more tired than usual. "Tell me the story.... the story that existed before you told the 11 other people before me."

His comment caught me off guard. I would admit feeling stung, except the look on my friend's face seemed more hurt than the whole of my feelings at the time.

I don't blame him for not jumping out of his seat to give me good advice. He knew he was probably the seventh pair of ears to hear the story. A story meant appropriately for only one or two.

And here, my friends, is when I came to compare my heart to an Oreo Cookie. Although I am a sucker for the creamy insides, there is no denying that Oreo Cookies are a fairly easy cookie to get a hold of.

It takes little next to nothing to locate an Oreo. We don't think much of it really.

It takes little next to nothing for someone to get inside of my heart. And Take A Giant Bite. And with all the easy access, what stops someone from taking advantage of it, without a second thought?

It begins with, "O.k, now you are the only one I want to tell about this..." and, before long, the one person expands into seven.

Before long our numbers are multiplying faster than a Duggar and Gosselin family playdate. By the end of the week half of our "social network" now knows that our heart was in need of a band-aid on Monday.

I think at times we need to be choosy with our hearts and who we allow to come into them to explore the insides. For Our Own Good. Some Doors Should Be Left Locked. Some Places Should Only Have One Key. Others need an alarm system. There is a grave difference between vulnerability and carelessness. There is a bold line between wearing a heart on a sleeve and carrying around a staple gun to fasten our hearts to the sleeves of others. We can give away pieces.. but we should also be taking inventory.

I need to give my heart a stern "talking to" before it gets me into trouble. Trouble deeper than the milk that I dip the cookie into (O.K, no more food metaphors. Or just one more?) Someone is bound to come and misuse it if they realize they can grasp it so effortlessly. It is a sad, sad day but I am realizing that not everyone who asks for storytime is really trying to be my best friend.

If my heart be DVD then I need bonus features.

If my heart be an album then I need unreleased tracks.

If my heart be a dessert then I am deciding upon a cupcake from Billy's Bakery.

Allow me to indulge your senses: Billy's Bakery, in New York City, carries a staple cupcake that will make any mouth, at any age, absolutely drool. It holds a certain satisfaction within the frosting that only Billy's can offer. The best part: You cannot retrieve this Heavenly cupcake from just any corner or bakery. But when you have it, oh, you are happy. Oh, elation sits by your side.

That should be my heart! Rare & Beautiful. Treasured & Savored. That should be my heart!

Our hearts are truly rare and delectable desserts, shouldn't we treat them as such?

After all, who is really going to fight for a heart when the line is 20 long and everyone gets in? Who is really going to find it an honor to sit in secrets and stories if they know they are one of 40 who can read that heart out loud. I don't long for too much exclusivity or top notch security, but I want whoever steps inside and gets to know the real me to not see a sight comparable to traffic court on a Monday morning.

I want someone to come to me, when tears stain my cheeks and my spirits are tranquilized, and although they will listen, I will be able to grant them a better promise. The promise, that they are not the eleventh person to respond to the crisis. Rather, they are the first.

Any other fellow or recovering heart sleeve sewers out there?

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