“‘You could stay within your comfort zone and speculate about whether the grass would have been greener for the rest of your life. Or you could say bollocks to it, and go with what’s here…‘ She presses her hand to her chest and looks at me intently.“
Lucy in the Sky, Paige Toon
Lucy in the Sky, Paige Toon’s first novel and second book by her I got my hands on, has become so much more than the intended easy summer read that would take my mind off work and help me relax. It got under my skin quite literally as I could identify with the main character, Lucy, so much that it was scary. Our circumstance may have been different, but her thought process and the similarity of the issues she’s been dealing with… well, I honestly thought Paige must have gotten into my head! Either that, or we are all the same after all 😉
However, I do not want to get into much detail about the book‘s storyline here (though I beg you, go and read it, it’s just so good!) nor to review it, instead I’d like to talk about a topic that reading this book inspired. A topic I don’t think we can ever talk about enough.
The never-ending battle between your heart and your mind
Should you listen to the reason? Or to what feels right?
From some reason we’ve been tought that our feelings are irrational and we should not let them get in the way – but when you take away feelings from people, what are you left with?
I don’t know about you, but the majority of people in my life always tried to persuade me that listening to my heart is something bad. That I need to use my brain to make decisions and don’t let the heart affect it. My sister being one of the strongest believers in that – a belief that caused many disagreements between me and her as I always let the heart win in the end.
And I strongly suggest you would, too.
Truth is, I think it’s not the heart that gets us into trouble, as most people would say, but rather the mind – the reason, the brain.
Sure, at first glance it may seem otherwise – cause usually when heart gets involved our lives can become pretty messy. But the chaos it creates is not a result of a wrong decision – nor an irrational calling. It’s a result of not listening earlier. A decision left for too long. So long, that our heart needs to scream as loud as it can for us to finally listen. To pay attention.
Yes, decisions based on our heart desires may seem all too radical sometimes. And they usually don’t make any sense to our over-protective minds who got all too well used to ruling our lives and naturally – don’t wanna give up the reigns just yet. And they certainly don’t make much sense to the outside world either. But trying to silence your heart’s calling is a much greater risk than listening and acting upon it.
Learn to love the risk and celebrate the failure
Besides telling us that decisions based on our heart desires are wrong, the world also tought us that ‚risks‘ are something to be avoided. And that failure is something bad. While all that failure means is that we were brave enough to try something new. That we didn’t settle. That we were curious enough to try and see what’s there. In fact, it should be celebrated!
Unfortunately, we are often so scared of taking risks, that we prefer staying in our comfort zones. Being it relationship related, career related you name it.
And yet it’s the risks that are almost always fueled by our heart. It’s our heart that’s calling us to action.
Leave that relationship. Leave that job. Stop playing safe. I got something better for you. You’re not supposed to linger here, this is not it.
It doesn’t mean what you had until now has been wrong, it can only mean you have outgrown it. It got you where you are now – where you needed to be in order to take the next step.
The next step can be as crazy as moving to another country you fell in love with, or leaving a relationship that seemed perfect until you met somebody else and suddenly realized there’s someone who gets you – completely. Without any compromises which gives the ‚perfect‘ completely new meaning.
Now I’m not saying you should leave a long-term relationships for some short-lived desire or a momentary lust – no, no, no. I’m only saying, that staying in a relationships for far too long only because you have ‚history‘ with someone or out of loyalty, even if deep inside you know it’s no longer right, is a mistake.
The brave are those who follow the heart
Following your heart requires a lot of courage. Especially because once you decide to take on the heart’s adventure you’re putting at risk the very thing that set you on the journey, the most vulnerable part of yourself which is the heart itself.
Another reason for which you’ll need more than just a bit of courage is because people around you will most likely not understand. The most common reason being they are too scared to listen to their own hearts.
They will try to warn you and tell you things will get messy, that you will lose what you have now and ask you why on Earth would you risk that in the first place. And they mean well!
Truth is, it is a hell of a scary business. But not listening to your heart means living in a lie. And wondering for the rest of your life ‚what if‘.
Your heart and your instincts are pretty much the same thing. As much as your instincts are usually right, so is your heart. In fact I see instincts as messengers of the heart. If you can trust your instincts, why wouldn’t you trust your heart? Once you tune into its pace, you will know what is right and what is wrong – and what is just a whim 😊 You won’t doubt it anymore.
Expectations vs reality
Following your heart may not get you where you thought it would. But it is NEVER wrong. The destination may be different from what you expected, but you got to that place for a reason.
I’ve done some pretty crazy things in my life, especially relationships related, but career wise as well. Some that a lot of people around me didn’t understand. In fact, they probably don’t until this day. Did I get hurt? Yes. Did I get the results I hoped for? No. But truth is, whenever I listened to my heart, no matter what the outcome, no matter how painful the end may have been, it’s provided me with my happiest memories. The moments I let my heart lead the way was always the happiest I’ve ever been.
Think of your favorite stories. They’re usually those where the characters follow their heart. Those are the best stories. And there’s a reason why you love them so much.
So listen to the rest of Lucy’s boss’ advice:
“It may not seem like the obvious decision to everyone else, and it may be traumatic and complex and utterly terrifying, but you’re not one to play it safe, Lucy. I don’t think so anyway.”
Lucy in the Sky, Paige Toon
Are you? 😉