I once injured my hips while lifting at the gym. When I went to the chiropractor to try to fix it, he told me that my hips have been out of alignment for quite some time and it was causing my body to be vertically out of alignment; it effected the way that I was walking, sitting, sleeping, etc. I remember my first thought being “I’ve been building muscle on top of a bad foundation this entire time.” It was true!
I was thinking about that recently and it lead me to ponder the human heart. How us humans build and build our lives but never stop to consider the foundation we’re building on. Because let’s be honest, when our hearts crack everything else in our lives start to shake and eventually tumble down.
The human heart is the most ridiculously fragile thing in the world.
It allows us to feel; pain, happiness, guilt, joy, regret, love, fear.
It allows us to choose.
It allows us to dream.
It is the thing we ought to guard the most (Proverbs 4:23) because everything, and I mean everything, that we do flows from it.
Having a clouded, heavy, broken heart is a very dangerous place.
What do you expect to flow out of it and into your life?
I believe that a lot of brokenness that is in our world today can be traced back to clouded, messy hearts.
I’ve always heard that your thoughts control your world. While I do believe that there is truth to that, I think that those thoughts have to stem from somewhere. That somewhere is your heart.
The human heart is like a fertile breeding ground. The second that a negative seed is planted (offense, fear, jealousy, greed, bitterness, etc.) it takes grip and breeds itself over and over again until, before we know it, we have a heart clouded with something. Then it starts to effect our minds which in turn effects our actions. Before we know it, our messy heart turned into a messy life.
Having a clouded heart is like a disease. How do you prevent this disease?
Give Yourself A Heart Check;
We all get caught up in life sometimes. No one is exempt from pain, loss and/or disappointment. Heartache does not discriminate. Some things are easier to keep out of our hearts than others. Sometimes we don’t always know why certain things stick with us over others, but the things that end up sticking are taking up space.
We only have so much space in our hearts. So much capacity to feel. So much capacity to be. So much to give. Unlike your iCloud, you can’t pay 99 cents a month for more storage. You’ve got what you’ve got. And if you’ve gotten this far in this post, it probably means that you’ve forfeited some space in your heart to stuff that you don’t want there.
Its okay. You don’t learn how to handle your heart in school. But, it’s not too late. Give yourself a good heart check. Take some serious quiet time to yourself. Turn the lights off, turn your phone off, shut your eyes down. Stare into the space behind your eyes and breathe. What are you holding onto? Why are you holding onto it? Are you holding onto unforgiveness? Regret? Do you have fear in your heart? Shame?
Psalms 139:23 –
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Grab Your Shovel;
It’s time to uproot. The first step is making a conscious choice to acknowledge what you are storing in your heart for a rainy day. Next, you have to make a conscious choice to let it go.
Letting go is NOT easy. If you’re like me, and you get attached to things, it becomes very difficult. I have a gift/curse of intuition; which means that I have an extraordinary ability to understand. However, it causes me to take on a lot of people’s crap. For a very long time, I held onto crap that my parents were going through. It had nothing to do with me really, but I felt their pain for them and I understood their hurt. Therefore, I held onto it in my heart and allowed it to take up a lot of space. So much space that my heart eventually broke over something silly that they did. Do you see how what is in your heart can effect your life?
No one else can let go of things for you. It is our own white-knuckled grip that keeps us stuck, causes us to react, makes room for hurt.
I think the thing that has helped me the most in a (long) journey of learning how to let go is the idea of making room for more. Think of your heart like a garden; every year it requires some serious maintenance. You have to dig up the old in order to make room for the fresh and new. You have permission to maintain your heart. It’s okay to uproot and let go.
Stop What You’re Doing:
“Doing” being the key word here. What are you just doing? Mindlessly doing? Out of obligation, maybe? For the wrong intentions? THAT is an open door for hurt in your heart.
Think about the last time you did something that you didn’t really want to (something that wasn’t from your heart)… You didn’t enjoy doing it and you also probably experienced some bitterness. Maybe not right away, but continuing to do things out of obligation or because you think you should will always result in disappointment. Have you heard of the phrase “getting burned out?”
Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not human masters.
God doesn’t desire us to please man. He desires us to please Him. Sometimes that requires doing things we don’t always want to do, but with what heart? God looks to our heart intentions, it’s impossible to please Him if our heart isn’t in something that we’re doing and also if our heart is boggled down with crap.
God has great plans for our hearts but they have to be in good condition in order for us to truly receive them.
It is not selfish of you to take time to do what you need to do for your heart. You can’t give and be selfless if your heart no longer has the capacity to do so.
What does the ground of your heart look like today?