I saw something today I felt was worth sharing and I believe it will always be a relevant topic. It’s an experience we will all face in this lifetime, some sooner and some later.
It was in my later adult years that I learned about the battle between the heart and the mind. The heart that so often feels too much and the mind that can send us into analysis paralysis, overthinking everything. My influences from the outside along with my own and what I gathered from people I met, even friends, always mimicked the same end result. The heart mostly stayed in the background and was always portrayed as too vulnerable, something that was capable of great pain. It was frightening to most people and something that had to be protected at any cost, even if that meant to hide and lock it away. People were afraid to get hurt and this was the only way they knew to avoid the pain. They avoided the beginning so no end had to be faced. For me it always felt like I was talking to a shell, a barrier that never revealed the true self and if glimpses did come through, they were carefully selected and quickly curbed to be held at bay. It was like a play where a certain role was to be played and the mask one would wear was determined by the subject, the opponent and even the situation.
To protect thy true self, the mind quickly took over the job of covering the heart, of hiding it and putting up a false front. To build that perfect illusion, that untouchable, unscalable wall. Tall and strong it stood analyzing everything behind it’s unshakable facade. It was so powerful nobody would dare attempt to climb it. It was daunting and intimidating to anyone who’d considered to search for the easily wounded heart that surely had to be in there somewhere. Daily it was weighing outcomes and every possibility, it was striving to be in control, to protect and save thyself from the feared pain of feeling. After a short while it became like clockwork, second nature and a way of life. It was doing a great job while the old self slowly died a little more each day. Perhaps this was the price to be paid to be immune, to feel less and to avoid pain. How little did the all mighty mind knew that nothing in life was free and even losing oneself is a heavy price to pay. A mastermind so smart perhaps it just didn’t want to think about it. After all this was their time, their time to shine, to do a job not to be diluted and distracted.
Along came others of the same likes, others who shared the same story and the same life experiences. Different yet very similar they too had gotten hurt by making their hearts too vulnerable for others to attack. How foolish they have been to trust and hope that nobody would take advantage of them while their heart was wide open. Soon they began to share experiences and in these stories lied confirmation and reassurance that one must had chosen wisely and did the right thing. Like machines and robots, the analytical mind was striving as if it had gotten a promotion or won some other valuable prize. Everything was good, there was no need to change anything and much more time passed in the process of it.
But like all lessons, the experiences kept repeating until the lesson would be learned. In time the ruling of the mind felt like a lonely place, a place that only allowed a part of you to exist. If the mind did such a great job, how was it possible that you cried yourself to sleep! Why did you feel so lonely, lying awake for hours, going over the same thoughts over and over again, never finding resolve, questioning your existence and your purpose! Why did you feel so incomplete and why did the old ways of doing things and protecting your heart no longer serve you! Everything had been going to plan hasn’t it? Most likely you even avoided some painful moments from the outside influence.
Well dear friend, there is no plan for life and our story. We don’t know ahead of time how it is meant to unfold and we are definitely not in control of it no matter how much the mind would like to be. Life will always have a plan on it’s own, often turning out completely different than you planned it during these sleepless nights. I’d say you have arrived at a point where suppressing that hidden part of you doesn’t feel right anymore. Once here, there is no going back and the incompletion and what you locked away for so many years is begging stronger and stronger to come out. How could that be when the mind did such a great job! I would tell you that you have outgrown your old ways and I would smile through the pain and terror on your face in the hopes to instill comfort and trust. I would welcome you at the doorstep of your new life. Your safety cocoon, your old ways, and yes…even the comfort zone and protection you worked so hard to put in place are now in dire need of an upgrade. Somehow the old ways weren’t enough anymore and there surely had to be more to life than this. How many times have you asked yourself that question?
Now with time come to pass you grew curious and curiosity foremost involves change. It involves a willingness to experience the new and grow. It involves entering the path of a new life and breaking from the old. Change in return requires courage and bravery. You have to take a leap of faith, trust the unseen, be ok with not knowing all the details, and yes… you will even unlearn everything you’ve been taught and let go in the process of it. Letting go of the control you have summoned, of that wall, of analyzing everything, of proving and protecting yourself, and finally let go of your old way of life. And while you do all of that, you have to remember to meet yourself with forgiveness and the highest level of self – love. Such a love that is unconditional and makes you your biggest fan and supporter. Because while your big heart has learned to forgive others, it is YOU who deserves second chances as well. YOU will always be your highest investment.
Fact is that being able to feel makes us feel alive and is the difference between a robot on auto-pilot and a human being. And who doesn’t want to feel alive! It is the difference between living and merely existing. Your heart already knows how to heal itself. It’s your mind that you need to convince to let go of the old patterns that keep you up at night, that destroy you and make you cry over and over again. You know that you can’t go back there again. Not after what you learned and there is only going forward that is left for you at this point.
So what about the pain and the vulnerability that you are exposed to wearing your heart on your sleeve? You will never be able to fully protect yourself and you will have experiences good and bad. In the end they are all good if you learn to see the lesson in them. This very outlook becomes your protection from others and yourself. Maybe that wall kept others from hurting you, but you had nobody else to blame but yourself for the pain of loneliness and incompletion. It was you who’ve built that monster. Take a chance now and believe that your imperfections will attract the people and the experiences you really need. It is time and you didn’t arrive here by accident.
What will you choose in the end? As a last piece of advice, I’d tell you to trust, trust and trust. Don’t interfere but learn to be flexible. Go with the flow. Drop expectations and set yourself up for beautiful surprises. Put yourself first and be your biggest fan. Love with all your heart and don’t hide it anymore. Be quick to forgive even if you do get attacked…for they don’t know what they are doing. Maybe forgiveness is not what they deserve but you deserve your inner peace and freedom. Stop competing. This is not a contest and none of us get out of here alive. And finally, give yourself credit, you are braver than you think and your heart will thank you for it. After all, every journey starts with one single Step.