You Have to Be You

Sometimes you’re so full of gratitude you can feel your heart swell, and other times you’re so full of despair you can feel it breaking. The heart is amazing, pumping away for us through all of it, steady and there and just under the surface of everything. You could put your hand over your heart right now, and close your eyes and take just a moment to feel that, because it’s easy to forget what a gift it is just to breathe. Just to be alive, even if nothing makes sense right now.

What makes you tick? What is it you really want, when you don’t worry about what other people are expecting of you? What would you do with this day if you could do anything at all? I think the answers matter, even if you aren’t living them right now. Your heart has a song that will pour right out of your mouth if you let it, but sometimes we don’t let it because we have fear. Fear of what people will think, or what people will say, or what we’ll do with the life we’re leading now, if it isn’t the one we know is calling to us.

You don’t have to want what other people want, or even what other people want you to want. You’re you. You have to live your life, you have to be able to face yourself in the mirror as you brush your teeth. What you see there will calm you, or it will leave you with a deep sense of unrest. If you’re living from your heart, you’ll be able to relax, because you’ll be doing this one, very important thing: trusting yourself. When you betray what’s true for you, what’s dying to come out, when you try to live your life to please other people, or to fit in, you turn your back on yourself at a very core level, and diminish your faith that you can act on your own behalf.

Do you ever feel that you just give yourself away? That someone or something comes along and you’re just swept away in it with no anchor and no way to right yourself? Your heart is your true north. Wherever you go and whatever you do, your heart goes with you. It’s your center, but it’s also the key to your flight. If you don’t know how to stand on your feet, how can you ever fly? If you don’t know who you are, or what you want, or what lights you up, there’s a good chance you’ll give yourself away, because for most people, some plan is better than no plan. I know people who’ve gotten married and lived the life their partner wanted because they couldn’t figure out how to hear their own plan. Maybe it turned out all right, or maybe, late at night when the house is quiet, they sit up and wonder how things could have been, if only.

Pain is part of life, and the heart is asked to bear it. Some hearts are asked to bear more than others. There’s no escaping pain, though. Trust in your ability to face your pain because it won’t do you in unless you run from it. If you do that, your pain owns you and your heart pays the tab. If you trust in your heart, in its strength and its steadiness, if you let that song pour out, your fear doesn’t stand a chance. Your song will knock it right on its ass, and all those people you worried about will be inspired, or maybe they’ll be threatened because you’re changing, and things are changing, but that’s their journey, and you have yours.

Cars and diets and other people and flashy things won’t ever make you happy for long. Coveting is an endless game that makes you sick. Trusting your heart is a sure bet. Being yourself is the best thing you can be, and the payoff is your happiness. It’s worth quite a lot, because when your heart is full and open and you know you can trust yourself, you can lend a hand to people who need one. When you’re trapped in fear you need your hands to protect yourself. Here’s to wishing you the strength to follow your heart and let your song spill out, for the world surely needs to hear more of that sound.

Sending you love,

Ally Hamilton

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