Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It is going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.
~ Brene Brown
When courage, compassion and connection are practiced enough daily, they prove to be incredible gifts. These gifts are only brought forth when we are our feeling our most vulnerable. Vulnerability triggers our fears, it makes us judgmental of ourselves and it isolates us into thinking that we are the only ones suffering so ignobly.
Courage is when you step forward even though you are fearful. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is Stepping Out despite fear. You must never take the counsel of your fears; they are pathetic guides.
Compassion is when you consciously make a choice to let go of your eagerness to judge yourself harshly. When you accept your own imperfections and see that it is they that make you unique and beautiful, you can see beauty in the imperfections of others.
Connection is when you know that you are not the only one feeling vulnerable and imperfect. We are all vulnerable and fearful at some point. That is the one common ground we have.
You are not a fragile hot house plant. You can take a deep breath; one that fills your chest to bursting and makes stars pop out on front of your eyes and your head to swim. Don’t worry, you will not burst into a million pieces. If you run with all you have and stumble mightily, you will not remain in the dust forever. If you fly as high as you can, your wings won’t melt like the wings of Icarus, making you fall into the sea and drown.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by defeat and failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.
~ Theodore Roosevelt
All the things that stop you from living wholeheartedly- your fears, your propensity to sit in judgment of yourself and declaring yourself unworthy, your feeling of isolation and loneliness- are all unworthy beliefs. They disempower you. Their premise is erroneous; their evidence is false. They feed your fears and give them greater power over you.
Live with all your heart. You will get hurt, you will fall, but you will also get up again. There will be wounds but they will heal. There is no shame in falling down; we all fall down, more than a few times. That’s how we learn to jump over puddles and sail over boulders.
Never shy away from opportunity and wholehearted living. Never be fearful of putting yourself out there. The courageous may encounter many disappointments, experience profound disillusionment, gather many wounds; but cherish your scars for they are the proud emblems of a truly phenomenal life. The fearful, cautious, cynical and self-repressed do not live at all. And that is simply no way to be in this world.
~ Anthon St. Maarten
You imagine the whole world examining you all the time. You feel exposed to their field glasses. You know they are watching; you know they are laughing at your follies. But they are not. They are paying as much attention to you as you are paying to them. They are afraid YOU are watching them, judging them, laughing at them. But you aren’t, are you?! You are too busy living your own life- JUST AS THEY ARE TOO BUSY LIVING THEIRS!
The one who has her field glasses trained on you is YOU. The one who is judging is YOU. The one whose jeering laughter you dread to hear is YOURS. Stop doing it! It isn’t helping you, on the contrary. It is taking you farther way from a wholehearted life, not towards it. It is compelling you to life half a life, making you waste the rest. And that is surely a sad thing.
Wholehearted living is not a one time choice; it’s a lifelong process.
You loose energy when life becomes dull in your mind. Your mind gets bored therefore tired doing nothing. Get interested in something– absolutely enthralled. Throw yourself into it with abandon. Get out of yourself. Be somebody, do something. Don’t sit around moaning about things, reading the papers and saying, “Why don’t they do something?” The man who is out doing something is not tired. If you are not getting into good causes, no wonder you are tired. You are disintegrating and deteriorating. You are dying on the vine. The more you loose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have. You don’t have time to think about yourself and get bogged down in your emotional difficulties. People who lack energy are disorganized to one degree or another by their deep fundamental emotional and psychological conflicts. But healing is ever possible.
~ Norman Vincent Peale
Your last two paragraphs echo exactly my thoughts on this. We give way too much importance to what others are thinking about us, but who has really the time? It is our insecurities, our own judgments of ourselves, our feelings of unworthiness that project themselves out in this way. A very powerful post today, Dagny. Loved the way your words inspire the reader to get up and take serious note.
And I love the way your appreciation makes my work shine in my own eyes. Truly, validation from those we admire means a lot more than from anyone else. Thank you for filling my heart with such beautiful thoughts.
I enjoyed reading this one Dagny. Norman Vincent Peale’s quote resonates. To lose oneself in a purpose higher than oneself makes a lot of sense.
Thank you Prathima! 🙂
It is so humbling, exhilarating and a bit scaring too when people say I inspire them. Yet, it gives me the motivation to do things which I thought I would never do. I have lived some wholehearted moments.
You are so right Janaki. It is a big thrill to hear people say that something in you inspires them. It also places responsibility upon you to not let them down. 🙂
Here’s to some more wholehearted moments to you!