I am a lover of quotes. Inspirational, funny, philosophical, anything that just grabs my attention and makes me go hmm. . .I intend to share a quote a week with you here, and whatever my thoughts happen to be at the time.
“Everyone should carefully observe which way his heart draws him, and then choose that way with all his strength.”~Hasidic saying
As I sit with this saying, I see that there are two main parts: observation and choice.
Before one can act, one must carefully take a good look at what is going on. It is not enough to just sit with the facts; you have to carefully listen to what the heart is saying.
If a friend wants to go out when I have been planning a quiet evening in, for instance, my thought process may go something like this:
“I can’t say no. We haven’t seen each other in awhile and I don’t want to appear uninterested. But I’m so tired and was really looking forward to vegging out on the couch. Saying no would be too selfish. Nobody is going to be entirely happy with whatever I decide.”
But if I take a moment to get quiet and go into my heart, I can find out what I really need more—to connect with my friend or to honor my need to rest. I’ve been in this position and sometimes one need is more important than the other. The point is to really observe what is going on and to make an informed choice–then stick with it.
Decisions can seem so hard. Surface needs, like the desire to please others and gain approval, can war with deeper needs, like the desire to rest and replenish.
The more we get in touch with our heart’s true desire, however, the easier choice becomes. Trusting in the heart’s wisdom gives us the strength to make the right choice, and to make it boldly.
As important as it is to observe with care, it is equally important to follow our choices with strength. As in the case with my friend, once I’ve decided what I really need, I can articulate that and not feel guilty.
* * *
I have been reading this quote for years, and yet it wasn’t until today that I discovered it has more than one meaning. I’ve always thought it applied to life purpose, as in, if your heart draws you to be a healer or an artist then pursue that no matter what.
While I agreed with that idea, I couldn’t help but be frustrated because I’ve been observing my heart a long time without discerning a specific vocation.
However, today I realized that this idea is not just to be applied to the Grand Life Plan, but to every single moment. Every time we are confronted with a choice, we should get in touch with our heart’s desire and then follow it completely. It doesn’t matter whether the choice is mundane or profound; it’s more about the practice.
So what choices/situations can I apply this philosophy to?
- What to eat for breakfast
- Whether to read a book or watch t.v.
- Whether to argue with my spouse or let it go
- If I should change the focus of my business now or later
- If I really want to accept an invitation
- If it’s the right time to have a baby
Think about this as you go about your day. Bring this level of awareness to at least one choice you have, and, if you’d like, share what happened in the comments.