Over the past year, I have spent a good deal of time getting back in touch with my heart. Here’s what happened – I woke up one day and realized that I was completely shut down for the most part, and just sleepwalking through my life. I hated my job, where I felt totally trapped, and wanted to do something different with the rest of my life. I had lost all passion for doing anything. I knew this wasn’t who I had once been and it wasn’t who I wanted to be. By the grace of God, I found a great personal coach named Mike Ege who helped me figure out how to get my heart started again.
One of the first things I found out was that getting back to my center wasn’t all sweetness and light. For one thing, I hated my job even more! It was so different from what I felt I should be doing with my life that I really had a hard time getting up and going in every morning. I’m sure the quality of my work suffered as well. The conflict was tearing me apart. I set a goal of quitting my corporate job by the end of 2008 to focus more on our two businesses and my life coaching. December, then January, came and went. I didn’t feel ready, although the truth is that I was worried about what would happen with our finances.
The gift came in February, when I was told that I would be laid off in a few weeks. The feeling I had was beyond description, a combination of fear and excitement like nothing I had ever experienced. I continued to feel that way for the rest of the time I worked at my job. My co-workers who were also losing their jobs were mostly fearful, but I never experienced raw fear to the same degree they did. I had complete confidence that God is in charge and that He was leading me into the next phase of my life.
I still feel that way, but some days are harder than others. The temptation to shut down once again is definitely there, especially when problems arise between my wife and me or with my kids. It’s much easier to feel nothing. What stops me is the certainty that even when things are bad, I’m living fully in the moment, feeling what I’m supposed to feel. God gave us feelings for a purpose. To be fully alive in every moment I HAVE to be open to feeling what my heart is telling me. That includes sadness, or anger, or hurt.
The point I’m trying to make is simply this, in order to be FULLY alive each one of us has to be able to experience the full spectrum of emotions. Some of them don’t actually feel very good, I know, but they serve a purpose just like the good ones do. Allow yourself to experience them to the fullest and try to hear what God is speaking to you through them. This is difficult at times, at least for me, but I know I’m living “in the pocket” more now than I have in a very long time. It’s worth it.