"Once we clearly acknowledge the soul, we can learn to hear it's cries. - Dallas Willard, Renovation Of The Heart."

It takes courage to pursue our dreams. It takes time and patience to unearth buried treasure. But I believe with all my heart that we must do both.


Are You Listening?

This was first posted on June 29, 2009  

It's a good reminder for me, for all of us I think to do "heart" checks every now and again.  I know that if I don't then I am not even honest with myself and God when it comes to "seeing" what's really going on under all the activity. 

 I can pretend so well...

Another portion of "The Sacred Romance" by John Eldredge.

"For what shall we do when we wake one day to find we have lost touch with our hearts and with it the very refuge where God's presence resides?

Starting very early, life has taught all of us to ignore and distrust the deepest yearnings of our heart. Life, for the most part, teaches us to suppress our longing and live only in the external world where efficiency and performance are everything. We have learned from parents and peers, at school, at work, and even from our spiritual mentors that something else is wanted from us other than our heart, which is to say, that which is most deeply us. Very seldom are we ever invited to live out of our heart. If we are wanted, we are often wanted for what we can offer functionally. If rich, we are honored for our wealth; if beautiful, for our looks; it intelligent, for our brains. So we learn to offer only those parts of us that are approved, living out a carefully crafted performance to gain acceptance from those who represent life to us. We divorce ourselves from our heart and begin to live a double life. Frederick Buechner expresses this phenomenon in his biographical work. Telling Secrets:

Our orginal shimmering self gets buried so deep we hardly live out of it at all....rather, we learn to live out of all the other selves which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world's weather.

Communion with God is replaced by activity for God. There is little time in this outer world for deep questions. Given the right plan, everything in life can be managed...except your heart.

The inner life, the story of your heart, is the life of deep places within us, our passions and dreams, our fears and our deepest wounds. It is the unseen life, the mystery within - what Buechner calls our "shimmering self." It cannot be managed like a corporation. The heart does not respond to principles and programs; it seeks not efficiency, but passion. Art, poetry, beauty, mystery, ecstasy: These are what rouse the heart. Indeed, they are the language that must be spoken if one wishes to communicate with the heart. It is why Jesus so often taught and related to people by telling stories and asking questions. His desire was not just to engage their intellects but to capture their hearts.

Indeed, if we will listen, a Sacred Romance calls to us through our heart every moment of our lives. It whispers to us on the wind, invites us through the laughter of good friends, reaches out to us through the touch of someone we love. We've heard it in our favorite music, sensed it at the birth of our first child, been drawn to it while watching the shimmer of a sunset on the ocean. The Romance is even present in times of great personal suffering: the illness of a child, the loss of a marriage, the death of a friend. Something calls to us through experiences like these and rouses an inconsolable longing deep within our heart, wakening in us a yearning for intimacy, beauty, and adventure.

This longing is the most powerful part of any human personality. It fuels our search for meaning, for wholeness, for a sense of being truly alive. However we may describe this desire, it is the most important thing about us, our heart of hearts, the passion of our life. And the voice that calls to us in this is place is none other than the voice of God.

We cannot hear this voice if we have lost touch with our heart."

Are you listening??

I wanted to say something here because some might think that to live from the heart is the same as living out of your emotions. I do not believe this to be true. Our "heart" is who we are. Emotions are not who we are, but things we experience. They are not good or bad in themselves. They are telling us how we are feeling at the moment. It is what we do with our emotions that matters. That is more telling of the state of our heart.



Bren said...

It's a great book your' quoting, love his writings.
Living from the heart has brought a largeness and liberty to my life and relationship with God that changes everything. Great post and as always love your heart art.

PaperPumpkin said...

Yes, great words, great reminder to have a heart check in this busy life of ours, Mary. thank you. kath

Bevie said...

Oh so true sis! Emotions change all the time, but living through our Heart puts God in the forfront of everthing else...Have a great Sunday sweetie!!! Bevie

Dosfishes at Sparkle Days Studios said...

Living from the heart, being truly present to every moment and mindful of all those other hearts around you, humans, animals, plants, breath. I could not agree more. xox Corrine

Erin said...

love, love, love your blog! That part where you said, "Our orginal shimmering self gets buried so deep we hardly live out of it at all" was so powerful. I'm grateful to have found you! I'm your newest follower!

Erin said...

Mary, do you have a button for your blog that I could put on my site? I would really love to be able to refer people here?

Just Be Real said...

A very good reminder for me as well Mary. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

rachel awes said...

love from my heart
to yours, dear mary.

sarah said...

truth....from my heart to yours....

Anonymous said...

Great author, thank you for sharing some of his beautiful writings with us Mary!

Nancy said...

Living from the heart can a difficult thing to do when one has been conditioned to hide their true self....but thank goodness God can scrape away the layers and hush the inter voices so one's true heart can be expressed.....Thank goodness for His grace.....

Mar, your heart comes through your words and your art....

Love you girlfriend

Martha Lever said...

I love this post, Mary.
You will love watching the DVD and taking a fun trip into "Bob land." It really is harder than he makes it look though. But he is great. Can't wait to see what you do. You are a natural with being loose! That didn't sound right did it??? :) Loose at painting!

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Oh Mary, I love your beautiful thoughts and words here and also the words from John Eldredge. It is so true how some of the real passions of the heart can many times come through loss and pain, along with the very special great moments in life. Just like the thoughts from the book you and I both also like "The Velveteen Rabbit", where Skin Horse explains how to become real.

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

I'm so glad that God wants us to embrace that real passionate part of ourselves. It can be so easily hidden if we give in to trying to be everything the world wants us to be to fit in. I need to slow down a little more often to enjoy that passion that God has placed inside of me.

Sorry this is such a long comment. You struck a cord in my soul with this special post.
I love you dear friend!
Lee Ann

Hindsfeet said...

Thank you so much, Mary...my beautiful mentor and friend...


Ophelia said...

How do you know exactly what is going on with me...gosh, everytime I come over to your blog, your posts are so timely!!!
I wish I were close enough to give you a very big hug Mary...I received a super fantastic package in the mail today. Your heart is so very kind. Honestly, Mary, you made my day today. Such a perfect gift from such a wonderful friend.
You always have a way of lifting me up Mary, and today - with your post as well as your package - you did just that, and did it wonderfully.

Terri Morse said...

Never before have I seen such an accurate description of what my life has become, and what I so deeply long for.

Heather Wynn Millican said...

exactly what I needed to read.
Thank you for sharing!