I had the opportunity to participate in the letter to my heart series at BlogHer for Valentine’s Day 2009. As I wrote this post, I thought how strongly this letter drives home the importance of listening to your heart to create the life you desire. It is impossible to be fully comfortable in your own skin if you tune out what your heart is saying… so start tuning in today.
I am so glad I finally learned how to listen to what you were saying and realized what you had to say was at least as important if not much more so than listening to my head. After childhood our relationship was pretty on again/off again. What with having to find my way in the world and choices about career and relationships the journey was filled with nothing but conflict. You were speaking loud and clear in those days but I didn’t know how to listen. I didn’t know the secret to a life well lived has far more to do with following my heart than the prescripts for success handed to me by other well-meaning people.
What’s most interesting about our 39 years together so far is how clear it is looking back that you have always been a compass. You were screaming “go this way” while I was busy puttering my way in another direction. After all, your messages to a 20-something year-old left-brained over-achiever didn’t make a lot of sense at the time. What I know now, however, is that it doesn’t always have to make sense (initially) to be the right choice. Much like a boat on a river, what makes sense is right here, right now, not what may lie ahead four bends downstream. Sure I need to be cognizant of the bigger plan (so I don’t end up on some whitewater challenge I didn’t bargain for – at least not too often) but beyond that it is about letting go.
I have to say I truly appreciate your persistence an insistence.
Persistence over time to keep nudging me back toward true north on the compass no matter how far I may have strayed from my path. The willingness to be patient with me on this human journey even when I spent years trying to force myself to fit like a square peg in a round hole. I tried everything from dressing the part in ways others wanted me to (I cringe at the pleated skirt suits and hose) to saying words others told me to say (and wondered who the heck was speaking!). In my darkest days of searching for myself while taking up residence in a cubicle that stifled the very life out of me, you kept vigil. Like a lover burning a perpetual candle you waited patiently for the moment I would give myself permission to get still and listen. You never gave up and you never abandoned me.
As a stubborn woman born from a long line of other stubborn Polish relatives it took me a while. A work ethic full of “making it happen” and working harder made it difficult to stop and listen. Sure I did from time to time, but it wasn’t until some big pivotal moments in my life that I really learned how to hear you. For that I will be forever indebted to my teachers along the way. My heart led me to Debbie Ford’s work that started my journey inward in earnest. For some reason I threw all reason and typical behavior aside and just knew I had to follow this path. It taught me to get out of my head, into my heart, and listen. Since then I continue to have other prominent teachers for whom I am equally grateful as they guide me through the small, sweet steps that lead me forward.
It has taken some time for me to move from hearing your voice to trusting you fully so I could align my actions with my inner intentions. Yet it has been well worth it. I can now celebrate all you have done for me and continue to do for me. From the basic physical tasks you do that allow me to be an adventurer in the world to the bigger, inner work of guiding me through my spiritual journey.
Thank you for your insistence. Even when there was too much noise in my head as many thoughts competed for my attention like hagglers at an open air market you were most insistent when it counted. Even before I knew how to get quiet and consciously listen to you, you knew how to shout when the stakes were high. You led me to my partner over 17 years ago even though the very concept that we might be meant for one another was as foreign as could be. She was the he I thought I had been looking for. Intellectually it made no sense. You, however stepped in and set the record straight (no pun intended) because you knew I was meant to spend my life with this amazing soul who continues to model for me what it means to listen to one’s heart.
I am most grateful for your patience as you taught me the lessons I most needed (sometimes over and over like a crazy deja vu). I can be a tough nut to crack at times. You showed me what it means to be touched by grace and how to have compassion for myself and others so I could be loved and love well.
While I am excited by each new day and its possibilities I now know that no matter where I am and no matter what, I can always come home to you. You will love me, listen to me, and guide me always in a way that serves the highest good. The journey is ongoing and you stand with me. And, that is what it really means to live my life well.
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