Lead with your heart. That’s what my inner voice told me the other day. I know it’s a cliche but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also good advice.
The guidance came to me while I was observing myself in the mirror. I noticed that my head stuck out in front of my chest and I wondered what might happen if I raised my heart so that it was the first thing to enter a room. What would my life look like if I let go of all the past hurts that kept my heart securely guarded and opened myself up to the glorious splendour that might await me if I was truly open to life?
It’s a question that has stayed with me over the last week.
How many ways do I shut myself down to possibility when I fear I’m going to get hurt?
When do I run away, back off, quieten down or opt out of situations when I think the same old patterns of rejection, disappointment or feelings of not belonging might be triggered?
It’s my birthday today and this topic is close to my heart. Literally.
I’ve been thinking this over because I feel ready for the next leap of faith in my life and this time it’s not about changing careers or moving country.
It’s a leap of faith into the unknown parts of my heart. The next frontier of bravery to explore.
I’ve already let go of so many things. Relationships, jobs, places to call home – and a whole inner world of fears, limitations, negative beliefs and old habitual ways of being that weren’t serving me. Having let go of the old, a whole big space has opened up for something new and in this new world I’m creating I want to lead with my heart. I’m not talking about romantic love. I’m talking about everything – relationships, work, home, health, adventures, travel, hobbies, creative projects, purpose, daily interactions, even my relationship to me.
Rebuilding my heart has been a journey. Pieces of it were scattered off in far flung places – in my childhood, in teenage life and in my life experiences as an adult. I’ve had to reclaim and heal those lost pieces, bravely looking with love at each and every wound that had taken a piece of my hope, my trust and my open heart with it.
Looking back at those difficult experiences that caused me to shut my heart down has been challenging. I’ve had to separate my true self and worth from those stories and really embrace the truth that none of my life experiences define me as a person – the good or the bad. I’ve been asked to step back and take a bigger picture view of what was going on when I felt hurt, disillusioned or betrayed by some person or life experience.
This is what leading with the heart requires. Feeling our feelings. Because it is our feelings that guide us and if we are stuck in our old feelings we will just create a new cycle of the past.
Life has called me to look at the root of these feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness and step out of the victim role. Sometimes I had the finger of blame pointed at another, other times I pointed it back at myself. It’s been easier to forgive others than forgive myself. I’ve judged and berated myself for acting foolishly, for making wrong decisions, for sabotaging good opportunities and for holding positive expectations of what life could be that never came true.
Moving on and creating a new life requires of us to heal those broken parts of our psyche and to find forgiveness and acceptance of our past and the path life has taken us on. From a higher perspective we might be able to understand that everything happens for a reason or happens in perfection but in lived experience we feel injustice, heartbreak, disappointment, abandonment and rejection. It is these emotions that need to be felt in order to be released because it is in this acceptance of how we really feel that new possibilities open up.
I was never wrong or off-track with my dreams or actions. I was just in a process of getting them in alignment with each other. The exciting thing now is how close they feel. I have so much more clarity about what I desire and what I feel called to do with my life.
I’m not creating my new dreams on the back of broken ones anymore.
I’m guided from a clearer place, a truer point of reference that is much more in alignment with the whole of me. My feeling is that you are too. I’ve seen it so clearly reflected in the people around me.
I think we’re all ready to start leading with our hearts. Let the real show begin.