Leading from the heart. . .

This is a topic that interests me greatly.  I think we are drawn to those ideas that we know to be worthy even though we can’t always adhere to them in our daily activities.  It’s a simple idea, really, and requires little more than the decision to ask ourselves, “Is what I am about to do the loving thing?”  And if it isn’t, ask for the willingness to consider an alternative to what we had in mind.

Much of the first four decades of my life was based on selfish motivations. What would I get from you if I gave this?  What was it that you really wanted from me?  Would I “profit” in some way from giving in?  These didn’t seem like unusual considerations.  They seemed to be common to my associates as well.  I’m sure there were millions of people who did let their hearts dictate their actions but I didn’t seek them as my friends.  And then my life turned upside down.  Total self-destruction was imminent and I became willing to consider another way to live.

Since 1974 I have traveled another path.  Not always have I been at ease on this path but from the start, I  did know the difference between doing the “right thing,” and doing what I felt was the most beneficial to me in the moment.  And what I have learned is that what is good for most others is actually best for me too.  It simply feels good; it makes my heart peaceful, to take others into account.  And I think that’s what is meant by doing God’s will, as we are “instructed” to do, in the third step of any 12 step program.

I struggled with this concept for many years, and when I was first introduced to it in Al-Anon, I scoffed.  Most of what I was being introduced to seemed far-fetched to me, in fact.  It seemed unlikely that I’d ever be willing to see my life in any other way.  It was a leap of faith for me to consider that God had a “will” that pertained to me and that following it would benefit me or any one else.  I didn’t know I was seeking peace.  I didn’t know I was seeking guidance or quiet contentment or the willingness to be an example to others.  I simply knew I was ready for a different way of seeing and living.  The rest is history, “as they say.”

It’s a simple question to ask, “Am I leading from my heart?”  If you are feeling good about your interactions, you are letting your heart guide you and for every encounter that any one of us allows this to happen, we are changing the world for all of us.  How willing are you to make a difference?

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