I have been mulling over this article all week, wrestling with what to write. Then, I remembered that one of my newer mantras is “path of least resistance”. I realized that if I was wrestling with what to write, I was blocking myself and that it was time to take a step back and just open the doors and windows on my creativity, and just let it flow where it would.
I went out on my walk this morning to escape, as many of us do – escape the responsibilities of adulting, escape my frustrations at a quarrel with my partner that in progress. As I walked and stewed in my aggravation, I tuned in and asked myself if this was how I wanted my day to go – stuck in my rightness and hurt, stuck in believing his wrongness? “No”, was the immediate answer. Now, how to get from here to there?
The answer was opening up to my heart, being willing to be vulnerable to myself and my feelings, being willing to look past the blame and hurt and check in with my heart to see where it’s compass pointed. I used to tell myself, and my clients to “do what makes your heart sing.” The problem is that, sometimes, we cannot hear the music, or maybe the options in front of us are nothing to sing about. Then I would be lost.
I have come to realize that our hearts always have a preference: peace over conflict, company over solitude, inward focus over outward focus, etc. The biggie – our hearts will always point the way to what is most loving for us. They will always choose the most loving option. It may look like self-love versus loving another, and that self-love may appear in a plethora of ways, depending on the situation. That love may want to manifest itself as setting boundaries with a co-worker, or giving someone a hug. The only way to know is to be with your heart and heed its wisdom.
This morning, when I asked my heart which way to turn, the direction she pointed was toward my partner. Last night when I checked in with her, she wanted space and solitude to process the hurt, so I slept on the couch, spending the evening holding my hurting heart tenderly.
After our walk (me and my heart), I wrote to my partner and asked if there was any part of him that could see my point. “Yes”, was his reply. Then I asked if there was any reason that we could not have a “Do-over”, tonight and add the communication and compassion that was missing last night. “No”, was the response. We met after work, had a swim in the pond, sat on the dock holding hands, and had our Do-over talk. This time, however, we spoke with hearts leading the way, rather than heads and fears. I am happy to report a drama-free resolution to our problem!
So often in our lives, we act and speak from places of contraction and fear. Our walls and defense systems come online, and we cannot hear the wisdom of our own hearts, much less see the heart of another. Our hearts are stronger than we think! They do not require the complicated systems of defense that we have put in place to “protect” them. Hearts will easily guide us away from situations and people who are not good for us if we just listen. Use it or lose it applies to our hearts as well! How often have you met people whose hearts, like that of Ebenezer Scrooge, seem to have shriveled up from disuse?
I invite you today to use your heart as your compass. Stop when you notice yourself shutting down, tightening up, pulse increasing, voice raising, etc. Take a moment to breathe. Take a step back and pause. Listen to your heart and see which way it points you. This can be difficult when we are already upset. If you cannot hear your heart, then go back later and check in when you have a quiet moment. I do not believe that it is ever too late to say “sorry”, or to course adjust for ourselves, and follow the path of love. Open up to allowing the heart to do its other job, that of guiding you to your best life!