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Desperation and following your heart

Living from your heartA while ago I saw something I wanted and I went for it. It was tantalisingly close so I reached out and…found my hand grasping at thin air. What I thought was there had disappeared. Actually, it was still there but had moved out of my reach. So I moved forward and reached out again, but the same thing happened. The pattern kept repeating and each time I became more and more desperate to hold that thing just out of my reach.

At the time I thought I was following my heart. After all, that’s how I always try to live – following my heart. But in hindsight, I realise that while I started off that way, in the end I was following my fear.

When your heart tells you to go for something, you should put all your attention there. We know worthwhile things in life often don’t come easily and there is effort and attention required.

But there is a tipping point between following your heart and falling into fear and then letting that guide your actions.

When you are truly in your heart and following your path (these two things are completely connected), there is a peace and surety that comes from that. When you are in that space you don’t fall into desperateness when that thing you desire starts moving in a different direction. Instead, you can stand exactly where you are and know it’s going to be okay because if it’s meant to be yours it will be.

It’s difficult for my brain to grasp and a challenge to articulate this concept, but bear with me.

The Universe responds to action and intention. So when you are following your heart you must act and have clear intention about the direction you wish to go and what you want.

However, sometimes what we want is not for us at that time. Or, sometimes that thing we’re chasing is simply part of a bigger lesson and we were never meant to reach that goal. Unfortunately, we can’t possibly see this at the time because we are in the zone of going for what our heart wants and where that leads us. Then when we feel it moving away, we panic. We get desperate. We are in pain. We feel rejected. Lost. And we wonder what went wrong. We ask ourselves, what else could I have done to change the outcome and achieve my heart’s desire?

This happens in our careers and it most certainly happens in our relationships with romantic partners.

While I’ve successfully grasped (pardon the pun) this lesson in my work-life, I certainly haven’t mastered it when it comes to my relationships with the opposite sex. My history is littered with stories of following my heart and then falling into desperation when they move away. It’s like a bad habit I can’t quit.

I’m all about the love you see. Love, love, love. So I follow my heart where it takes me and I try to trust it as much as possible.

Some people might call that naïve. That’s okay because I am a romantic optimist and I do look for the best rather than the worst in people and situations. I see all the wonderful possibilities. Is that naïveté when there are so many reasons to always expect the worst?

But, I’m getting off track now. The point of my post is this.

When you are following your heart you trust that things will work out as they’re supposed to. So, if something or someone persistently runs in the opposite direction away from you it is wise to stop, be still and ask if your behaviour in response to this is coming from your heart or egoic fear.

If you are acting from your heart you will do what you need to do while holding on to your self-respect, your values and your peace of mind. You will clearly state your intention to the Universe (and the people involved), do what you can (action), then step back and wait (listen to your heart).

If you find yourself pursuing something as it runs away, and you desperately grasp at and try to hold onto it, then you need to stop and recalibrate because you have fallen into fear and that will get you nowhere. However, fear will lead you to abandon your self-respect and often humiliate yourself (yes, that would be my voice of experience there).

If you are living from your heart there is no fear because you know everything is as it needs to be and you can only do what you can do to reach what you want. You can’t control the outcome (or the other people involved) and if desperation and fear start to kick in then you know you’ve definitely gone off track.

Is it time to let go of control?

let it goHave you ever noticed that when something isn’t going your way, you want to control it even more? You want something to happen and you want it really badly but it’s stopped down the track and it’s not moving. You can see it in the distance; it’s oh so close. But it’s not getting closer.

If you’re anything like me (and I know some of you are) this can occasionally bring on a ‘control meltdown’. This is the moment when you’ll feel like if other people would just get their act together then it would all work out. It will be the moment when you want to get in there and ‘sort the situation out’. It will be the time when you will feel determined to drag that thing towards you inch by painful inch until it’s where it’s supposed to be. You’ll feel stressed, anxious or even angry because you’ll want to control that situation and ‘make it happen.’

Sigh. I feel exhausted just thinking about it.

Things rarely work well if we try to control them. Life just isn’t like that. Instead it’s an organic thing that grows best with a little love and a lot less control. That’s just the way it is.

So much of what we’re taught is about control. For example, if I do X and Y then this will result and I will be able to create this outcome. But what if you’ve followed this formula and the outcome hasn’t eventuated? What then? Have you stuffed up the formula? Did you do it wrong? Is there something wrong with you or are ‘they’ to blame? Should you be doing more? Can you force it?

The questions will buzz around your head like flies and drive you crazy if you let them.

The truth is, all we can ever control is what we do in this moment. So my advice is (and trust me, I’m still working on this myself), if it’s not working and you believe you’ve done everything you can, then let it go. Allow it to eventuate or not. You can’t control the outcome and you certainly can’t control what other people are going to do. And you can’t force something to happen if it’s not supposed to.

Let it go and know all is as it should be. Often that’s when the thing you want will slide effortlessly into place and later you’ll wonder why you ever worried about it at all.