“If you have embarked on this journey of self-reflection, you may be at a place that everyone, sooner or later, experiences on the spiritual path. After a while it seems like almost every moment of your life you’re there, where you realize you have a choice. You have a choice whether to open or close, whether to hold on or let go, whether to harden or soften, whether to hold your seat or strike out. That choice is presented to you again and again and again.” -Pema Chodron
I have a confession to make: I have a heart.
I confess: I feel things deeply and passionately.
I confess: I’m sensitive and kind and a good person.
I admit: I’m not as heartless as I pretend to be.
I confess: I don’t destroy people; I am not poisonous; I am not a murderer.
This is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek confession. Of course I’m not a bad, evil, awful, dangerous, harmful person. Not really anymore than anyone else is. It’s just being human.
And being human means I do have light and goodness inside me that is stronger than any darkness my brain thinks is true. My brain has spent so long telling me I’m an awful person, I kill the things I love, I destroy relationships, I hurt people just by being around them, I can’t get too close, I’m inherently flawed…
These things are not true. There really is no “true”.
It’s not a confession, but it felt like it was. It feels like it is. I have spent so long telling myself I am heartless, I am awful, I am unforgivable… that to tell myself okay, maybe, AND all your goodness, all your light, too…. to tell myself about my own light feels like a secret. Like it’s a secret that I love people and love the world and am a gentle soul inside.
Most people who know me know this; they know me; I have trouble sensing myself, but this is a truth that others see in me. And I am starting to see it too.
Last night I was in tears as I somewhat aggressively confessed my goodness. I’m not horrible! I don’t destroy everything I touch! I’m not evil and dangerous! and the sober admittance of I’m tired of not trying for fear I’ll mess everything up. I want to try again.
I want to try. I need to try. Try what? I’m not sure. Life, maybe. Try my heart. She won’t bail on me and she won’t destroy others. And break? All our hearts are already splintered. And it’s okay.
This is all to say, I’m not sure what happened last night, in this mess of confession and hope, but I felt a shift.
I rely on my brain when I don’t want to face my heart. Now I am saying yes to my heart. I want to be brave, and I can choose to be brave in every moment. I can always choose my heart.
On the train home from work this evening I had a very pleasant observation that I felt content. And I will never really be alone, because I can have myself, and I can be a decent friend to myself. My friend likes my heart.
In this moment I am choosing my heart.
May we all find the strength we need to continually find our hearts and choose our hearts.