“Follow your heart,” my mother said to me. I still remember her telling me these words as child, words that would guide me for years and years to come. As a young girl, I didn’t quite know what she meant, but I nodded my head vigorously, determined to somehow listen to the beating muscle in my chest.
Flash forward twenty years and this is the principle I’ve built my life around.
Follow your heart. Sometimes that phrase is so vague. How do we identify what’s truth vs. our emotions getting in the way? How do we determine whether our hearts are clouded with pain from the past, with unintentional biases, with the dizziness that comes with falling in love?
And what if our hearts are damaged or dead wrong?
These are the questions we ask ourselves. But at the end of the day, our hearts know best. Our souls know the answers. Our bodies are pulled in certain directions and it’s up to us to give in, or to fight the inevitable.
We spend so much of our lives searching—for love, for purpose, for identity, for meaning—but what if everything we needed was already within us, was already being told to us in every pounding beat? What if we were honestly on this chase to find ourselves, and what we’ve had all along?
What if life is really just a journey to uncover the truths that are running wild behind our rib cage? What if our hearts really know all that we are, and can be, and we just need to shut the hell up and listen?
“Follow your heart.” My mother’s words still stick with me. I think of how she pursued art, even when the world rolled its eyes. I think of how she moved to a different state, leaving the man she loved behind. I think of how she fearlessly listened to the pounding in her chest and let herself be led by what she believed, what she knew in her heart was true.
I think of myself, of my journey across the country, of the people I left behind and the relationships I’ve built in the aftermath. I think of the breakage, the wreckage, only to discover who I’d always been still pulsing within my veins. I think of the way I rebuilt from scratch, creating a life for myself with my heart holding the blueprint.
I think about how my entire life has been a journey to discover what I’ve always known—the answers are within me. And I don’t have to fear.
Our hearts know.
Our hearts know more than we give them credit for. And sometimes the best thing we can do is close our eyes, lean our heads back, and trust.
Don’t be afraid of the power of your heart, of the truths it shares, of the pounding that will lead you to places far beyond you’ve ever imagined. Don’t be afraid to let go of what you’ve always had, always known. Don’t be afraid to take chances, to disregard rules, to jump forward into opportunities and people without looking back. Don’t be afraid to feel.
And don’t be afraid to trust the voice, the rhythm that’s within you.
Because your heart knows you, is you. And will guide you through.