Tell them, to follow their heart.
Thats all very well to say we must follow our heart but how do you know if you are really following your heart?
I did not say you must. I said “follow your heart.” Very simple. When we follow our heart we no longer concern ourselves with should’s or must’s or have to’s in our lives. When we follow heart we become clear about what we want and what we need. When we follow our heart we are no longer ruled by expectations, not our own or those of others. Can you imagine a life where you are free to live and learn according to your heart and not because people expect this or that from you? When we follow our heart we no longer concern ourselves with duty or obligation, unless of course you love to live that way. Then by all means, be my guest. So many people think that if they are dutiful daughters or sons, or if you live a life in service because you think this is the right way to live, then you can feel proud you have lived a good life. Rubbish!
Why is that?
Because, my dear, living a dutiful life is not synonymous with living from the heart. One can be try to be generous, kind, patient and compassionate but the very act of trying implies it is not flowing from the heart. And when we don’t live from the heart we are not being authentic. One cannot follow the heart and be inauthentic at the same time. Impossible!
You sound a bit cranky.
I am cranky. How long have we been role modeling authenticity to you all. Some of you are very slow learners. Now thats a bit harsh. We lions are proud to be who we are. There are times we are loving and compassionate and times we are ruthless, wild and powerful. But we never try. We are who and what we are. Simple. When we follow our heart we open our inner ear and every question we ask will be answered from the heart. Thats is why there is an EAR in inside the heart.
Now that’s clever. An EAR inside the heart. You make it sound so simple. But if it were that simple everyone would be following their heart and living struggle free lives.
Nonsense! Following your heart does not automatically make life easier. In fact it often makes it considerably harder. Consider this for a moment. Imagine you lived in a wonderful home and have everything you could ever want. Clothes, food, education, a loving partner and even a gorgeous child. And one day you look out the window and you see an old couple arguing, and you see a mother who is tired and frustrated because her two children have physical limitations and cannot walk so she has to push them to the shops to buy food. And you see a child sitting on the heart aches when it have something important to say. So you listen. You wait and you ask “Why do I feel so uncomfortable?” The heart is saying it’s time to go out on a limb. Its time to take a risk. It’s time to be seen, to be heard, to be vulnerable, to be courageous. Courage come from the heart. The Latin word cor, cordis is the modified by French cour, which gives us such words as courage (one must have a great deal of “heart” to be courageous), encourage (to give someone “heart” to carry out an act), and discourage, which means to give someone a “heart apart” about a particular situation, that is, to dissuade someone from doing something (from the Latin word dis—apart, not, away from, reversal). One of the earliest descriptions of courage is when we speak our mind by telling whats in our heart.
So when we are courageous are we are following our heart?
Yes. Unless of course, we are simply doing what we think we should do in order to do the right thing. Then the action of courage comes from the head and not the heart and it is no longer courage. If the heart and the head are not aligned then we begin to bring should, or must, or have to, back into our thoughts and deeds and actions and consequently slip out of following the heart.
Are you saying the heart has a mind of its own
It does. Let me put it this way. The Mind of the Heart does not get caught up in negative repetitive situations. It is truly MindFull. It does not react. It contemplates, meditates and assimilates all situations and all information, and then processes it through the heart. When the head thinks too much it begins to call in all sorts of emotions that lead to painful feelings and impulsive actions. One may mistakenly believe these feeling come from the heart but in fact they come from the emotional body of the lower mind. That small mind attaches itself to substances, behaviors, thoughts and people and creates powerful emotions to keep it in that situation. It becomes hungry for short term pleasures and gratification.
I have a sign in my office, “Don’t believe everything you think.” It’s meant to be a joke but I think it’s related to what you are saying.
It is. We can easily loose our equilibrium when we get caught up by our interpretations and thoughts. When we become convinced by our beliefs and opinions. The feelings that emerge from these are not heart-centred.
I recently listened to the podcast by Krista Tippet called On Being and she interviewed Mary Catherine Bateson wrote a book called Composing a Life. She is the daughter of the inimitable anthropologist Margaret Meade and as I listened she quoted a poem by the great Rudyard Kilpling called, When Earth’s last Picture is Painted. It asks what is it that a human being wants. To me this poem encapsulates everything to do with ‘following your heart.” Here is the poem and as a special treat here is Rudyard Kipling himself reciting his poem. xxxx
When Earth’s last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an aeon or two
‘Till the Master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
They’ll sit in a golden chair
They’ll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet’s hair
They’ll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They’ll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the Master shall blame.
And no one will work for the money.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!