Put the Power in Your Heart

not2needapprovalAt a certain point you have to stop chasing down approval and start approving yourself. The easiest way to do that is to follow your heart and do your very best not to hurt other people. You won’t always succeed on either count. Sometimes fear, doubt and people-pleasing paralyze us, and even though the heart is crying out for action we simply aren’t able to follow through in that moment or during that time in our lives. Just because you know what you need to do doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it. You’re ready when you’re ready, and not a moment sooner. Recognizing the need for action is a start, it’s a beginning, so try not to kick yourself if you aren’t ready to start walking just yet. Sometimes we need help to get unstuck. We need someone to kindly hold up a mirror and remind us of our power. No one does his or her best in every moment. We can all be selfish, thoughtless, confused or in pain, and when we make decisions or act out in those states, it’s probably not going to go very well.

Forgive yourself for being human, and forgive others. We all blow it sometimes, but as much as possible, being accountable is the thing. Knowing yourself, and recognizing when you’re spiraling or clinging or running or denying is so essential. When you can see it and own it, you take the power away from the feeling and put it back in your own hands. Maybe you have to sit on your hands to avoid acting out on a passing feeling. It can be incredibly uncomfortable and draining to face down your dragons, but you know what’s worse? Letting them run your life. A feeling is not a fact, and not all feelings demand or deserve your action.

I say this to you because if you’re aware of yourself and determined to be responsible for the energy you’re spreading as much as you can, to be conscious of your actions and do your very best to ensure you aren’t being careless with someone else’s heart, or aren’t inadvertently spilling your pain all over someone else’s path, then you can accept that you won’t always please everyone.

Sometimes your choices cause another person to face their own, and that’s not always easy. It’s one thing if you’re ready to look at your stuff, and it’s another when it smacks you in the face when you aren’t expecting it. That stings and it’s not easy to deal with, and sometimes you’ll want to run or start rewriting history in your head, but you can’t undo the past. If you behaved in a way that caused someone else pain you were almost undoubtedly in a lot of pain yourself and maybe it’s very old pain that’s been chasing you down for years. Have compassion for yourself and for other people because it’s not easy to be on either side of the equation. It takes a lot of courage to follow your heart and to look at your stuff and to move slowly and steadily toward love. It’s brutal to have to face the consequences of your actions and to realize that even though you may be forgiven, ultimately you’re going to have to forgive yourself.

Pain will take you hostage if you let it. Someone else’s pain can do that as well, but you aren’t here to be imprisoned. You’re here to be free. You’re here to love. When your stuff comes up, and it will, trust that you have the strength to look at it and sit with it without letting it own you. Let love own you. I’m not talking about romantic love, although that’s a beautiful expression of the love I mean. I’m talking about opening your heart to that great love that you possess, that limitless well that’s within you, and allowing that to rule your life. Really. If you’re going to give yourself to anything, give yourself to love.

Sending you some right now,

Ally Hamilton

3 thoughts on “Put the Power in Your Heart”

  1. Another great post! The beginning brought to mind for me something I read in Max Strom’s book that was a revelation to me, and I think it applies here: the people who love us, love us in spite of what we try to do to be lovable, not because of it (I’m paraphrasing – don’t remember the exact quote). Being authentic, rather than trying to predict what will get others’ approval is really the only way. I remember the day I realized that I have spent my whole life confusing approval for love; a lot has changed since then. I also became aware that being “perfect” is not what draws the people in my life to me – it’s the quirkiness, the particular pattern of strengths and weaknesses, blind spots and vulnerabilities. And when I accept that in me, I don’t have to even try to accept it in others – it just happens.

  2. I love this. Thanks so much for sharing. And yes, that love/approval thing can get intertwined pretty easily, I think. Took me awhile to untangle them, too 🙂 Lots of love.

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