“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say.”
– Paulo Coelho
A question I had been asked this past fall on multiple occasions was one of the most endearing and loving questions I think everyone needs to be asked: How is your heart doing? It really took my by surprise the first time I was asked because I had never had someone express their concern solely for my heart and I realized I had never examined my heart to that extent. But sure enough when I did examine it I discovered that it was heavy and brutal. Sorrow and hurt were buried deep within me, and that part of me was withering away. Aching and sadness lived in me, and it was odd because they were pains I thought I had moved on from.
I realized two things I had appreciated all of my life were the root of my pain. Love, something I so dearly valued had finally hurt me. Life, something I so greatly enjoyed had finally taken someone from me. I had never experienced loss or pain and somehow I was struck with it twice for the first time in my life in such a short window of time. How was I suppose to recover from that or even know how to handle it at the very least? Well…I needed to feel it first .
F e e l i t
The natural instinct of humans is try and run away from our emotions that cause us pain and hurt. So believe me when I say I ran as fast as I could because I despised how overwhelmed it made me. Yet, I had to face my true pain so I had to really ask myself: How was my heart? It was neglected. I had somehow tricked myself to believe that when the tears had stopped I was completely okay. I made myself believe that I was just strong and moving on, but I was lying to myself. That’s why it is so vital to release what you are repressing, because for me I had fooled myself based off my outwardly actions and the facade I had created. I was in denial mentally and emotionally and so finally I felt it. I went through all of the words, the loss, the aches and the lies I convinced myself that I was.
What I learned is that you can’t run. If you’re hurting then feel it. It was one of the most emotionally overwhelming and heart wrenching moments to sit there and let everything I was suppressing be released. The beauty in the sorrow is that once you feel it you can truly feel the joy of all that does exist in your life. You’re reminded of what goodness is when you feel your pain, and your gratitude increases. So when finally felt all of it I was prepared to eventually let myself forgive.
F o r g i v e
How do you forgive a boy who breaks your heart in one of the most cowardly ways possible? Who taints years of love with his decision to treat you as though you have no worth? You dig deep and find a way to forgive. This was one of the hardest things I had to do and face when I addressed my heart. I was angry at him in a way words couldn’t describe, and it was crushing me. My spirit, my smile, my mental state, and my heart were all wrenched in hate. Yet when I forgave I took back my strength. I took back my heart, my power, my love, my grace, and my identity. My heart was released of any hatred and burden that had filled me up. I felt grace and love and excitement towards my faith and felt restored in strength.
How do you forgive a loss that you have no control over? You learn to trust in His plan. My dog was my sweet love, and the loss of him was heart wrenching. I watched him breath his last breath and that had been something I wanted so desperately to forget. I attempted to downplay the weight of him leaving me, and the guilt this caused me was brutal. It caused me distress and uncontrollable emotion so I tried to forget it all. I hated that death had struck me, and I didn’t know hatred would be an emotion I would experience through it. But I did. And I had to forgive Jester for getting old and sick. I had to forgive life for taking him in a time in my life when I already felt so fragile. I thought it was cruel and simply mean. But, eventually I felt the love Jester brought me overshadowed any hurt I had. The love he gave me and everyone else was so special and unique, and when my heart had this transformation I felt renewed.
R e n e w a l
The absolutely most important part of this entire season of pain and brokenness is that I ran to Jesus and my faith was renewed. I found my heart transforming in the way I loved, the way I spoke, the way I listened, and the way I thought. I considered that time of my life my storm and I didn’t look out of the storm for Jesus but rather I looked and found him in it. This was the very first message I heard right after heartbreak, and let me tell you how reassuring and restoring that was to hear. I heard God and found him revealing himself to me through dancing and through people, and these people were my incredible friends and mentors. They lifted me, encouraged me, danced with me, held me up when I was weak, and spoke God’s love for me over and over.
Feeling renewed was an absolutely necessary and refreshing feeling. Never in my life have I felt so aware of my emotions, aware of my mental state, or aware of who and what I am and believe in. Anxiety, something I had struggled immensely with in the past year is no longer something that overtakes me. My heart was able to release the things weighing it down and gain new purpose, pure passion, and new love. Transformation and growth were embraced with open arms by my heart.
H o w i s y o u r h e a r t
I believe there are a lot of hearts that are hurting and they’re crying out for help. Not only are they crying out to others to hear but for their own self to hear as well. This is why I have written and released this writing, which had started off as a way for my own release. I believed that publishing it after I felt more recovered or more ideally in a better place would be better, but somewhat not true or real, and I felt this needed to be as raw and honest as possible. So here it is, my vulnerability extended in every way I could possibly imagine. I would have never addressed these emotions if I had not been asked this simple question. So I ask each of you reading this: How is YOUR heart doing?
I pray that whoever is reading this that your heart is okay. I pray that it is strong, abundant in joy and love, grateful, spirited, and simply happy. But if your heart is not I pray that your heart is resilient, patient, faithful, still loving when it may be hard, and on a journey that is meant for your growth. Embrace your heart if you are one of the ones hurting, and have faith that it is a blessing in disguise. So listen to what your heart has to say…reflect on it and embrace it.
all of my heart