This I Believe

Amy - West Lafayette, Indiana
Entered on November 20, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: hope

I believe the heart always knows.

As I look back over my life, I see that the best decisions I made came from my heart. My parents and teachers worked the head angle to promote book smarts, but I managed to absorb little practical knowledge. It felt irrelevant. I preferred to retreat into my imagination.

This is what is so hard to accept that I feel like crying. This is who I am. I’m happiest one step removed from reality, tumbling through the realm of the unsaid. I do work hard, but most of that effort happens inside my head and then, sometimes, flows out my fingertips. I guess I’m an artist, God help me. I love to create. And, for the cheap price of financial security and social approval, I gain access to the dream realm.

I’ve tried other paths, different clothes, alternate egos. None fit. I’ve danced frenetically between the call of my soul and the logic of my head. I’ve convinced myself to do the wrong thing, over and over, ignoring the plaintive cry of my wounded heart. But it won’t hold. Nothing ever lasts when my heart says no.

“Of course,” I replied, when my husband proposed marriage, as if he’d asked, “Is the sky blue?” Some decisions flow like a river. Others don’t.

Why do I fight what comes naturally? I think, often, my actions come from a desperate, primal need to be loved. It’s confusing to be torn between loyalty to myself and those whose acceptance I still crave. All my life, I’ve crawled behind on the floor, begging for the emotional scraps. It’s hard to stop now. My heart is not only my birthright, but every pain and joy and fear that I’ve ever felt. I am who I am because of those I’ve loved, those who’ve loved me, and those who couldn’t.

As I slide down my third decade, I pledge to listen to the call of my heart. When I have a choice to make, I’ll amble through the woods awhile and allow my senses to sharpen. Then I’ll pause by the water to summon my intuition from where it crouches beneath the scars and detritus of living. I’ll weigh my options to see which lifts me like a bird taking flight. Only then will I decide. I’ll dance to the beat of my heart.

Because, I believe, the heart always knows.