There are days that I detest the expression to “listen to your heart.” Granted, when we listen to our hearts, we have a feeling that is impossible to describe. Multiple emotions exist. People tell me to pray when I get overwhelmed, and I do. But that doesn’t mean that I can always hear what my heart is telling me. Sometimes listening to my heart is like listening to the wind. It’s silent, it can change direction, and it can be forceful or gentle depending on the conditions. Our hearts are like this too.
When our lives have astronomical changes, we face decisions that aren’t always easy. We often deliberate between professional and personal opportunities. What happens when those decisions are going to affect relationships with others? Many people fall into addiction, and those who love them most can’t afford to stay connected to them. Other people are not willing to push themselves to do more with their lives, and it leaves a lot of uncertainty for strive for excellence. There may be people who have become so religious you might feel judged and scrutinized by them. That’s okay. It’s their right to believe what they choose, but you don’t have to live life to please them. In my heart, I believe there is a God and that God is the only one who has the right to judge us for our sins. If you don’t share my belief, then that’s okay. I’m not asking anyone to believe in what I do. I have found faith is something that is a very personal journey. I have to listen to my heart when it comes to standing up for what I believe in, and sometimes that means I have to listen to the wind and anything else that may be helping me along the way.
Listening to music is like listening to your heart. We hear the melodies, the rhythms, the beats, the metrics, and the sounds that ignite emotions in us. Some of those emotions are gentle, while others can come across as rage, love, anger, hate, calm, peace, and tranquility. Blues, reggae, rap, country, classic rock, pop, alternative, goth, new age, techno, and even jazz may be styles that touch your heart better than others. While some of the items listed are not emotions, they label different genres that speak varying levels of emotions we may face.
When we struggle with decisions, we often go to our friends for sounding boards. We lean on friends for advice. The danger is when friends give you their opinion and sway your decision. Sometimes it’s a good thing, but there are many instances where their opinions cause long-term ramifications. You are in control of your life. Be sure you are comfortable with your decisions.
As I was researching ways to help people cope with hard decisions, I found some tips I’ve found helpful. They are as follows:
- Follow your intuition. Your gut and intuition are guides you shouldn’t ignore. They are the internal road map that is designed specifically for you. We are all wired differently. That’s not a bad thing. It just means we all process information differently and has different views and beliefs. You have to figure out what your gut, heart, and intuition are telling you.
- Meditate and listen to your inner wisdom. We all have wisdom. It may not feel like it at times, but we do. Think before you act.
- Think about how your decision will make you feel — after the fact. This is where being analytical comes in handy. If you are making a difficult decision, weigh the outcomes. It could mean the difference between positive experiences and negative ones.
- Ask yourself two important questions. What are the pros, and what are the cons? You know the decisions you have to make- listen to your heart.
- Avoid analysis paralysis. Do not over-analyze. I’ve done this a lot in my life. There are times where you have to suck it up and act on decisions. Don’t fall victim to “No decision becomes a decision.” When you begin to make difficult decisions, you gain experience. That experience helps in the long run.
- Recognize your body’s reactions. The human body reacts differently to different scenarios. Pay attention to your body. If traumatized, you may need to adjust how you treat your system.
- Consider the implications a year down the road. Who will benefit from your decisions? Are your decisions going to make positive changes or negative ones? How will those decisions affect others? What accountability are you willing to accept?
There are no right or wrong answers. We all deal with issues in our families, our friends, relationships, and our careers that can be questionable at times. The biggest thing is to remember to listen to your heart. When you can hear the wind, you know you are giving yourself the quietness necessary to listen to your heart. We can’t see our souls. We can’t see the questions that people have in their heads. All we can do is give ourselves the chance to hear our thoughts that swirl in our heads and hearts. When we utilize both tools, we strengthen our choices within ourselves.