The heart we should follow must be the theoretical heart. That’s the one that you draw on notebooks when your in elementary school referencing your first crush; The heart that accompanies your signature on the bottom of greeting cards on birthdays and holidays; The heart that as you get into your teenage years, your wanted NOT to wear on the sleeve! The same heart people are referencing when they advise you to think with your head before your heart.
A thinking heart? Now, this is where things get complicated… You see, the older we get the more we’re cautioned to handle our hearts with care. BUT WAIT...How are we supposed to use caution with our heart and simultaneously be thinking with it and following it?
There are just too may contradictions. Should our hearts be cautioned or should they be followed like a beacon pointing us toward happiness? No wonder everyone is confused!
There are two options…
1. We use caution with our heart, think first and think of others- doing what makes others happy because were happy when our loved ones are happy.
2. Forget caution and follow your heart- do what makes ourselves happy even though it may disappoint or hurt the people that we so dearly want to make happy.
Neither sounds like a happily ever after to me.
The crux is that not everyone is going to be happy, despite the simple formula to “follow your heart”. Therefore, we need to recognize that happiness is not something that spontaneously comes upon us. Although at times it may pop out of the blue, I think it’s safe to say that happiness falls in line with almost every other aspect of life–> in order to have it, you have to work at it. I know… definitely not something we wanted to hear.
We wanted happiness to follow a fairy tale story line…that it just happens. We’d like to think that happiness is supposed to be like winning the lottery without ever having to buy the ticket. It should just strike our lives and everything falls into place. Yet, this is as probable as finding a leprechaun and a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Come on...We’re all adults here, by now we know that fairy tale princesses, leprechauns and constant euphoria are not real. Unfortunately, like most good things, happiness does exist without sadness. In order to let in the good we have to let in the bad. There is no path of least resistance to finding happiness. To obtain happiness it must be earned.
Whether it be a goal, a career, a relationship with family, friends, or yourself…true happiness is only found when we consciously and consistently make choices to be happy.
“Follow your heart” reminds us that in we should do what's right for ourselves, keep our own best interest in mind and remember that happiness comes from within. It reminds us that trying to please everyone results in jumping through hoops and running in circles ultimately risking ending up back at square one.
So... to avoid all of the confusion of leading and following; hoops, circles, and squares- I guess it’s just easier to say “follow your heart”.
SHORT AND SWEET…AKA…MORAL OF THE BLOG
Although the age old advice to “follow your heart” may be vague, it may also be an effective expression that reminds us to be our own leader. To advocate for ourselves, follow our own way and our own heart.
With all of that being said… in my own pursuit to follow my heart, I think sometimes it would be nice to pull over and ask for directions. ;)
"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." -Abraham Lincoln