I question myself daily. I question my desires, my cravings, my motivation for things and what I say in conversations, after the fact.
I question myself because I know I always have a choice. I can choose how I respond in each moment. I know it. I feel it. I honor it. And it also scares the hell out of me.
A deep inner chord was struck when I read Alan Watts’ quote: “The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet , everyone rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
The chord that was struck when I read this was not the terror or logic chord. It was the one that I, unfortunately, spent most of my life ignoring, because I was never told to really and truly pay attention to it. That chord was: my heart.
My heart—and yours—is gentle, subtle and sweet. The heart is passive, soft and light. It is easy to ignore when the tidal waves keep crashing in on us. It is easy to ignore when we don’t really know how to pay attention to it, because we are trapped in the logical, thinking mind most of the time.
Well, my heart has been talking to me a lot louder lately—perhaps because I’ve been listening to it, honoring it and letting it guide me more in my daily life. I used to question it a lot because it felt irrational or “too much” at times. I’ve been experiencing a lot of transformation—in my work, my home-life, my personal relationships and how I view my life. This evolution is not happening to me on a practical, mind-based level. There is a definite lack of logic to the guidance I am receiving from my innermost self these days.
So much lack of logic, that every time my heart wants to make a change, a big wave of fear and excitement wells up from the inside and washes me up onto this shore of the unknown—where logic and predictability have no home!
The unknown is scary to the untrusting eye. It’s dark. It’s mysterious. It almost has a forbidden, war-torn element about it.
I’ve recently listened to my heart’s advice on something big: dating.
It told me to stop dating.
You see, I’ve been single for about three and a half years now. I’m also an entrepreneur and a mom—my sweet girl just turned five. I waited a year after my legal separation before I started dating again. I meet people easily because I’m empathic and love connecting one on one. I’m an in-the-moment kind of person who, when she feels a connection, decides to explore it to the fullest. This connection doesn’t involve long-term, logical thinking. Thus, I’ve had many short-term relationships that have helped me discover more of what I want, but have also left me feeling dissatisfied and unsure.
My recent decision to stop the dating game came after a conversation with an intuitive development teacher I am studying with. It was like a light-bulb went on. My big “Aha!” moment came when my doubts were validated by a human being who also lives in a heart-guided, yet practical way! It was affirmed that the type of man I wanted to be with for the long-term was worth the wait.
However, the unknown, in her quiet and seemingly unpredictable ways, is really just a playground that is beckoning to be lit up. It’s beckoning for light from only one source:
The heart’s luminosity lights up the dark shores of the uncreated with a futile strength that seamlessly weaves beauty into the corners and crevices of nothingness.
To the heart, the unknown is alive and exciting.
The heart tells us to do things based on feeling, which is in a sense, illogical. I was just having a conversation with a girlfriend tonight who has been contemplating leaving her boyfriend. She told me she has these recurring dreams where she leaves him and has real-life desires to just pack up and go—often. And yet, she hasn’t done it. Logic is telling her not to run. Something is telling her to stay. She is continually confused and questioning herself. As a friend, I just listen. I honor her feelings and I reflect back to her what I heard her say. Her relationship is her choice.
Listening to her talk, though, reminds me of a time when I felt drawn to just leave a partner. He chose not to come home with me for Christmas break. We were newly engaged and it was hurtful to me that he didn’t want to come home and meet his future in-laws. When I was packing for my plane ride back to where he and I had been living, I remember my heart telling me not to go. I didn’t listen. Logic told me running was childish. In the airport in New Mexico (where we lived), I had an asthma attack. My heart was clearly telling me something. I still didn’t listen. When I got to to our home, he came down with the flu—a horrible flu. I became stricken with that same flu days later—the flu that led to our demise—the final signal from my heart that it was over.
When we are living in the mind, the excitement, impulse or instinct to act can easily be mistaken for fear or anxiety. The tightening, lightening-bolt like twinges of discomfort in the chest, the throat, the stomach—mere signs that it’s time to go out and be bold. They are signs that it is time to light up the dark depths with the luminous love that only the heart knows!
You may say.
But, what do you mean? This is all so metaphorical. This seems like an un-grounded and un-graspable truth.
And yes, I say. It is.
You see, the heart is poetic. The heart is ungraspable, in a logical sense. The heart is delicate.
Haven’t we all felt the most alive when we loved so deeply it hurt? Haven’t we felt the most passion when we had an inexplicable zest for something that felt like it came from that deep, almost mystical place?
What the heart does know is surrender.
And surrender is an illogical way of being.
But in that lack of logic, there is wisdom. In that wisdom, there is depth! And I know I am living from the deepest place this human life allows us to when I feel like I’m constantly falling into an abyss of the unknown that is:
I don’t fight my instincts to act anymore. If I question someone’s character, I am doing so for a good reason. I am trusting my heart. The heart’s questioning comes from a place that is indescribable and irrefutable. The heart’s deep truths are oceanic in their depths and otherworldly in their candor.
Every damn day I am falling—a helpless lover to an unseen love, to which I will keep seeking and surrendering all of me until the day I leave this earth.
Because I trust.
I trust in my heart. And you should too.
Author: Sarah Lamb
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: K Sandberg/Flickr