My Heart is Bursting Out of My Chest
I love new beginnings. A new year is full of promise but when your resolutions from each year are like the last and the year before that, new beginnings don’t seem so new. All resolve is replaced with cynicism. I’ve been thinking a lot about failure. It may seem a little backward to be thinking about failure when most people are thinking about success for the coming year, but the thing is I’ve failed time and time again. Every year I tell myself that I’m going to accomplish big objectives I rarely manage to complete. I’m being honest here and this isn’t easy for me to admit. Failure is not something anyone wants to recognize in themselves let alone admit, but with age comes wisdom. Wisdom is a lot about seeking the truth and the truth is I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded when it comes to achieving new year resolutions.
It seems to me that the majority of people really struggle to hold true to the vows they’ve made to themselves, and one thing I’ve learned is that if there are vows you should absolutely keep, they’re the ones you make to yourself.
I’ve been wondering why it is that I’ve been unsuccessful every year at completing what I’ve set out to do. When I think about things I want to carry out, my thought process always goes toward the direction of my body and mind. Every year I say to myself that I’m going to get up and my body is going to ‘do this’ or ‘be that’, and that my mind is going to be the driving force. So, this year I’ve really taken some time to consider why I’ve, ahem, failed.
This has not been a pointless task – on the contrary. I’ve come to discover something about myself which opened my eyes to that truth I mentioned I’ve been seeking: the body and mind are useless without that thing that goes ‘tick tock’ – the drum inside that awakens each of us with our unique cadence. The heart may be an organ that serves specific purposes which don’t include thinking and ultimately it is the mind that makes us feel passionate, but a specific facet of the mind makes our ticker feel like it’s going to burst out of our chests when we’re feeling all kinds of crazy and causes us to be aware of this rush of blood through our veins. These physical sensations are what cannot be denied and when we experience them, what we’re really yearning for is crystal clear. We know when we’re ardent about something and when we’re lukewarm or cold. No great success story has ever come from indifference or mere logic. In the same way that it isn’t always the mastermind that makes a great idea move out of the conceptual phase and succeed but instead it’s often the charismatic freak that loves the prototype or perceives the project as if it were a child, our resolutions require the same fervent determination.
I’ve come to realize that I’ve been misguided all along. I’ve been thinking from the perspective of what my body and mind are going to manage. Plans help us remain focused and to keep our eyes on the prize, but we must have the tenacity that only comes from that thing kids draw on Valentine’s day. I don’t know about anyone else but I do know this: I’ve only succeeded when the heart leads. In fact, I’ve only succeeded when my heart soars, drives the course, plunges deep into the unknown, prepared to take on whatever weather, obstacles, or deep abyss it comes up against. When I allow myself to question what it is that I really believe in, truly want and commit to with clarity, devotion and certainty, I find my bearings.
New year resolutions are promises we make to ourselves and if we’re going to make them, we should mean them. It seems to me that it’s just a waste of time if we aren’t going to follow through. There’s this greenish-grey dude who’s 66 centimetres tall from a galaxy far, far away that once said, “… Do or do not. There is no try.” That guy knew what he was talking about. With a few exceptions, we have the ability to do just about anything a person can within the confinements of reality … and sometimes, yes sometimes, we can do the impossible but we have to be willing to live in a place of discomfort, risk more than what others think is wise, often take several beatings, get back up over and over again, defy fear, toil ourselves raw and spent, and in some cases, sacrifice reason. I really think that it has more to do with perseverance than it does with talent, because there are all kinds of people many of us are surprised to find out have done the impossible.
When a heart swells with ferocity, it becomes large enough to radiate valour. I choose to have grit and a heart that waits on the steps for the front door to open with the baseball bat instead of hiding under the stairs like a coward. This year I’m ready to follow my heart. I am raring to go. I’m going to leave a very comfortable job even though many people think I’m a lunatic, be in the best health of my life even though many think I can’t, and finish projects I’ve been too afraid to complete.
I am also going to feed my heart by being far more loving, compassionate, forgiving and non-judgemental towards others but also myself. I am going to remember the compliments thrown my way and forget the insults. I am going to dish out more warm smiles but show my sharp teeth and use my voice without hesitation if the situation calls for it. This year I am going to be a better daughter, sister and friend. I want to make a difference in the lives of strangers and allow those closest to me to help out where I’ve refused in the past. I am going to take advantage of every moment with someone I love, and I want to be grateful for all the awesomeness of life. I am ready to be more than I have been and live in accordance with my values. Making life decisions based on what others may think is a recipe for disaster.
Over the next few days I will find ways to hammer out my existing goals and consider new ones for the year. I will decide how to make my plans take shape so perhaps this will be my first resolution. Developing plans is simply ‘tactical love. I must be prepared for the work that will come with the goal setting. It won’t be easy but this year I feel like I’ll be doing what I want for all the right reasons. Resolutions, here I come! My heart is feeling fierce!