My locker decorations in junior high had cute little inspirational phrases like “Dream Big” and “Follow Your Heart.” I had deep quotes about love and loss etched into my voice-activated Password Journal, and I wrote poems and songs that I would force members of my family to listen to (I was a total tyrant). I was 11 going on 74, but in a plot twist, I also had a Beanie-Baby ‘guard dog’ named Bernard in the locker that I shared with my 6th grade best friend, Brittny. Take from that what you will.
Anyways, “follow your heart” seems to be embroidered onto pillows and plastered across graphic tees and given as generally accepted life knowledge. It’s cute and it’s cliché and it sounds good in songs. When you don’t know what to say to someone, “Follow Your Heart” is always there for you as a back-up advice.
But I am here to say that not following my heart was the best decision I have ever made.
The heart and the mind often want different things.
My heart usually wants what feels better.
But my head wants what is better.
8 months ago, I was faced with a decision that forced me to use my head over my heart. I was broken and hurting and weak and one option would have ‘fixed’ that. It would have felt so much better. It would have made my breaking heart feel not-so-broken anymore.
The other option made my heart want to explode into a million pieces. It brought me to my knees in heartache. But rationally, logically, I knew it was what I had to do. It was what God was calling me to do.
Following my heart 8 months ago would have felt better for awhile. In fact, it probably would have been euphoric at times and masked itself as the right decision.
Until all the reasons my head knew it wasn’t would begin to surface.
I read in my Joyce Meyer devotional a few weeks ago about the heart’s deception.
“Your heart can sometimes want what is desperately wrong for you.” -Joyce Meyer
Desperately wrong for you.
My favorite hedgehog mug, Ramón and I, strongly encourage the use of one’s head when making emotional decisions.
If I would have followed my heart back then, I don’t want to know where I would be today.
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
My head and my heart went to war 8 months ago. I felt with every ounce in me, that the decision I made was the wrong one. I felt like I would never be happy again.
But feelings are temporary. They are fleeting. They are misleading. I used to let emotions and feelings run my life. It was exhausting.
A lot of times, the right decisions feel like the wrong one.
I didn’t follow my heart, and it was the best decision I ever made.
The right decision might feel like the wrong one for awhile, until one day, when you’re back on your feet, you’re able to see how all the pieces of your life fit together, and exactly what God was doing. He gave us intelligent, sophisticated brains for a reason. Feelings and emotions are incredibly important and totally amazing, but they are not the compass by which we should make decisions and direct our lives.
Even when it hurts.
My head won the war 8 months ago. I made the hard decision that felt terrible. It wasn’t an easy fight, and it was messy, and long and incredibly painful. But looking back, I can truly say I have never been happier and more content to be exactly where I am now.
Blessings, not chins
He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.