I have been quite reflective about my journey, even more so as of late. I think of the time in my life when it was the most difficult, when there was no one who was there and I had to navigate that darkness alone, all the despair. I think of a friend who probably knew but would never say anything, how she and her husband would arrive to offer support, to help with my children so I could complete my degree, I think of the time I move to a new town alone, and often hear a single profound sentence that helped me move forward, the friends that understand and accept, and the people that push me to continue to grow. There have been many people that have impacted my life, some close people and others absolute strangers that I will never again see. No matter my desire to be independent and self-sufficient, we are not an island unto ourselves.
A few summers ago in a small shop on a tiny oceanfront island a virtual stranger gave me some great advice. She was a wonderful shop keeper, with a storefront filled with beautiful artwork and charming knickknacks. Over the few years I had visited, she shared bits and pieces of her life, clearly a wise woman full of a lifetime of experiences to share. I bought myself a bracelet and as we talked during the sale, I mentioned a small struggle for that was the morning I had cried on the beach at sunrise, the day I gathered my courage knowing as scary as it was going to be to have one final battle, it was time. She shared a bit of her story, shared how important it is to be with people who value and cherish you, and to listen to your heart. I had since connected with her on social media and recently decided to offer up a thank you. It again served me well to be reminded of what I already know.
Last night she said, “.it just comes down to listening to your heart…and that, my dear, can be a very scary journey.” So so very true. That morning on the beach years ago, I had listened to my heart, that voice that directs you, the one we so often ignore, the one that we logically argue with, rationalize away. How often times would be much easier if we just listened. Why do we not embrace it? Why do we think there are times we know what is better only to arrive at regret for not listening? Why now when I know what my heart says do I find such struggle in listening? It is scary….
“Use your heart. Understand. Learn to see things in the now, not as they were or will be, or as they might or should be, but as they are, right now, in this moment. The heart sees the now; the mind only sees the next. If you can’t learn to see the now, you’ll never see what’s truly there, and then where will you be?” ~ E.J. Patten