I’ve always been a firm believer in listening to what your heart is telling you. Over the years others have told me, “Listen to your heart, if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.” Truer words have never been said.
In high school, things were rough. Keeping out of trouble, when I hung out with kids who were trouble, was a challenge. We weren’t the tire-slashing, breaking and entering kind of trouble. We were more the wise-ass, smart-mouth kind of trouble. As kids, we didn’t use our heads when making plans to do things, so listening to my heart was how I made my decisions. I never wanted to appear to be “uncool” in front of my peers so I never really listened to my head when it was telling me not to smoke or drink, but my heart wanted those friends and I let it guide my decision on whether the fun they were offering was going to be harmless or put us too deep into outhouse.
When someone would tell me, “that boy is trouble.” I wouldn’t listen, even though my head knew the person was right and I was sure to get a broken heart, my heart spoke louder; telling me to go for it because he was the kind of trouble a girl only gets one shot at and that she might as well enjoy it while she could.
When I became pregnant with my first child, I worried about what kind of mother I’d be. I’d never had a baby, what did I know about taking care of a baby? How was I going to be able to raise a child, when I was just a naïve young woman? My head pounded with anxiety, but my heart was screaming at me to listen. It told me that no matter what mistakes I was bound to make, the love I had for my child would outweigh my ineptitude.
I can’t begin to count how many times throughout the years that I’ve been undecided about the choices I’ve had to make, and in the end decided to simply listen to what my heart was telling me. My head would be screaming, “No! Don’t do it!” And my heart would override my head.
Recently, my life has been ruled by my heart. For years I’ve been living and listening to my head. After a rocky marriage and riding an unending roller coaster ride, I decided to get off the ride and try to find some solid ground. There were a million and one reasons to stay on the ride, but only one to get off. And my head almost won with its logic and reason, but my heart spoke up for the first time in a long time. It told me that it was finally time to start thinking about what makes me happy and not what makes everyone else happy; that I had been putting everyone else’s needs before mine for so long that I had completely forgotten what I needed.
My head told me that it wasn’t going to be easy being on my own, but my heart chirped in again. “Easy isn’t always easy.”
The heart always knows.