I often think about what the most important message is that I want to impart to my patients, my daughter, my inner circle of friends, and anyone else that I care deeply about. Ultimately the message is that, through out all of life's uncertainties and difficulties, I hope that you always trust yourself. Most of us have lost touch with our hearts, and it may seem insignificant but so many people that I work with reach their 40's or 50's and realize that they've been living someone else's life. They're unhappy, they have no energy, they don't understand what's wrong. They (often) have the career, the house, the kids and even the cottage. That's what we're all supposed to want, right? Yet so many people are deeply and chronically unsatisfied by the time they reach middle age.
In an ideal world we'd all be born to conscious parents who, from the moment of conception, infuse our developing hearts and bodies with a fierce sense of self-trust and self-love. Well, we don't live in an ideal world. But I hope that at some point you learn how to (re)connect with your heart and intuition, and I hope that you have the courage to listen to its guidance.
We live in very polarized times. There is an accepted narrative about just about everything and if you dare to question it (or God forbid, commit to a different perspective), you're subject to all manner of insults and labels. Anti-this and anti-that. Maybe even worse. As far as I can tell life is almost always grey. It's nuanced, it's complex, there are many layers to explore when it comes to just about every topic. What may be right for you may not necessarily be right for someone else, whether we're talking about a specific career, viewpoint, medical intervention, or anything else. Black and white thinking is common in children and makes sense developmentally. When you see it in adult society at large it's a major red flag that something is very wrong with that society. When we live in a context this polarized, it becomes even easier to suppress or ignore our own heart, or what we know to be true for us as individuals.
When we lose touch with our hearts we are more prone to being influenced by external factors that may ultimately lead us (individually and collectively) to more division and dis-ease. Things like fear-mongering, social pressure, bullying, advice from so-called "experts," and various forms of (overt and covert) coercion are powerful tools to manipulate susceptible people. It's everywhere today, just open up a newspaper or turn on the radio. Humans are social creatures, after all, and the fear of not being liked or not belonging isn't just reserved for insecure teenagers. It's well known that toddlers and young children will change their behaviour in order to please their parents or caregivers. They will literally choose the relationship over their own authenticity. While this is common it is not normal. Because so many of us learned before we could even walk that in order to belong, in order to receive ongoing love, we must fall in line, most people don't even recognize when they're being manipulated. No wonder so few people ask questions. No wonder so many just do as they're told.
When we connect to our hearts we may find that we come to different conclusions than what we see on TV. That's okay. Be with it. Explore it more deeply. Get curious about it. How would it feel for you to make decisions from this place of knowing? What would that even look like? Notice how different it feels to make a decision out of fear, versus out of personal truth.
I've made a lot of decisions in my life out of fear, or out of wanting to belong, or simply because I didn't want to disappoint someone. I've regretted every. single. one. of those decisions and many of them have caused significant roadblocks that have taken years to overcome. I've also been brave enough at certain points to make decisions from my heart because something deeper inside of me kept nudging me in a particular direction. Those decisions are the ones that I would make again a thousand times because even though they may have cost me important relationships (or a myriad of other things most people consider to be 'important'), they also kept me in integrity with my personal truth and my personal path in this lifetime. The greatest gift we can give the world is the most authentic version of ourselves. When we are in alignment with our core self, we are supported in the long run.
Trust yourself. The next time you find yourself unsure, step back, take a moment to feel, to tune into your intuition, to come back to your heart. If this isn't something that you do regularly it may feel uncomfortable but stick with it. This is a practice for life, not just a one-time deal. You won't regret it.