This is a personal memoir as well as an encouragement for you this week, dear reader. Whether you are like me, or not, I believe the ensuing thoughts will help you to live more fully filled and fulfilled, beginning with wherever you are and using whatever you have. For, I know, and now I feel, that getting out of my (your) head and into my (your) heart is the best and only way to live.
For far too long, read decades, I have lived inside my head. While I am an emotional guy, many feelings, desires, and sensitivities I kept locked up inside of me for far too long. Both positive and negative. I’ll dive much more deeply into this shortly, but suffice to say, that in my head I felt safe and in my heart, I felt vulnerable. I was right, but I was so wrong.
Perhaps you are thinking that in fact, you live in your heart and not in your head. While I know many people that do and I do not wish to debate you about that fact, I would ask you to consider this question. What decision, change, or adjustment do you know that you need to make, but you just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet? How long has this been the case?
No matter your answer, if that situation exists, you still need to dive deeper into your heart. I would suggest to you that whatever that something is, if it has been true for more than a few months then you are allowing your head to build walls around your heart to keep you from doing what your heart knows you need to do. Is it a relationship? Is it a lifestyle change? Is it a commitment to following your faith? Significant or minute, whatever your heart knows you need to do, you need to convince your head to let down its guard and to break down the walls around your heart.
Allow me to explain my journey in hopes that it might impact yours. For as long as I can remember I have had deep, vivid dreams to become a person who builds and leaves a legacy, who impacts other people, and who changes my corner of the world. Humbly, I can say I have been fairly successful in doing all of those things. Truthfully, I can tell you that my efforts have only been a small percentage of what my vision is – in my mind.
Why is that the case? Because of the same reason that holds all of us back. I wrote extensively about it last week. Fear. Fear of rejection, not being good enough, or being judged by others. The truth is, I managed to avoid the hurts that might have come from any or all of these possibilities, but oh, the opportunities I have missed by protecting myself from them! Not just opportunities to achieve worldly success myself, but eternal opportunities to impact others.
Here is an even more disturbing reality. I have lost years, yes, even decades of time worrying about outcomes that I constructed in my mind. The truth I can now share with you is that often, if not almost always, our “worst-case” scenarios are never as bad as we imagine. And even if we fail, failure is not final. In fact, if used correctly, it gives us opportunities to learn and improve in the future. My friend, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of enduring a few moments of pain to gain learning versus spending years worrying about things that will likely never come.
I wish I could give you a 5-step formula on how to make this change for yourself, however, I believe that each of us must walk our own journey to let our hearts take over our heads. In my journey, I can tell you that it is an ongoing process. I started on the journey a year and a half ago when I started the second chapter of my life. But I am in a different place today than I was a year ago. Heck, I’m in a better place now than I was a month ago. And I’m just getting started.
How about you? What do you need to do to let your heart sing? Literally and figuratively? I have had a few people tell me recently that they don’t have any dreams, but I don’t believe them. I believe everyone has not just a dream but a lot of dreams about who and what they want to become. Whether they are five or seventy-five.
What will you do today that will change your life and/or the lives of others tomorrow? You may still have doubts and fears – and you may get hurt or fail. But even if your heart gets broken I believe that you can mend a broken heart more quickly and easily than you can mend a head full of regrets and unrealized dreams.
In closing, may you receive encouragement and motivation from the great poet, playwright, and painter, E.E. Cummings: “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” May you be encouraged as you begin your journey.
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