The Hard Work of Heart Work

No matter our stage in life, heart work is hard work, plain and simple. I’m particularly reminded of this amongst the season where life finds me now. Yet, no matter the struggles that we face be encouraged that we are not alone in these efforts. Actually, each person we encounter is fighting personal struggles that many of us bury deep or seek to ignore all together. This approach can offer temporal relief or even allow us to feign a sense of joy that truly, in reality, does not exist. So what should we do if we sense these feelings of being an imposter in our own skin?   

Below may be helpful to all of us as we strive in becoming continually better versions of ourselves:

  • Have Grace for Yourself:

This is critical! We cannot begin the long journey of self-renewal if we view ourselves as unfixable, unlovable, unwanted, or incapable. By believing such things about ourselves we place a stronghold of barriers towards any meaningful self-reflection and growth. Recognizing that we have made mistakes and that we have room for growth is an important practice in cultivating humility; yet there is a HUGE difference between humility and humiliation. Too often (and I’m counting myself here) we believe that a spirit of humility requires tearing ourselves down…when in reality it is placing others above ourselves. YET, how can we lift others if all we have done is wear down our own spirit. We must have strength to lift others and that strength comes from a formidable spirit we cultivate in ourselves through the Lord. Therefore, seek GRACE!

  • Finding Our Heart Home:

Each of us have a home…a place where we feel secure, safe, and loved. Where we are surrounded by those who encourage and inspire us forward and onward! If we come to a point where we feel that there is no place we can find rest for our heart; then we are in dangerous waters. We must take time each and everyday to connect with our heart home. Maybe it’s giving a call to a close friend…maybe it’s seeing a parent or holding a loved one. Home does not always need to be a physical space it can be a sense of community with others who care and love us for who we are despite the mistakes and failings we each carry. Therefore, find HOME!

  • Open Our Hearts to Joy:

There are seasons in our lives that call on us to close our hearts and do nothing, but store the pain of strained relationships, heartbreak, and regret. It is not wrong to confront those pains, yet we cannot dwell there and we certainly cannot close our hearts to upcoming joys. There is nothing that will leave us more burdened than an unwillingness to open our hearts again even if doing so in the past left us vulnerable to hurt. Opening our hearts is not only about us being able to accept joy, but open hearts allow for a two way exchange…we in turn get to offer joy to others who may need it even more than ourselves at that point. Do you desire to be a change-agent in someone’s life? Simply be available and come with an open and listening heart, leave judgment at the door. Joy is only possible when we willingly accept the risk of opening our hearts. Therefore, welcome JOY!

Thanks for being on this continued journey with me, may each of you have a blessed upcoming Thanksgiving week! Take care & take heart my friends, Anthony

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