I’m not writing to everyone. This blog post is not for people who are very comfortable with their emotions. This post is for people who think “Follow your heart” is terrible advice. This blog post is for people like me.
Let me be up front: I do think “follow your heart” is terrible advice. If your heart is anything like my human heart, it leads you toward things you should not do. From selfishness and lust to overeating and staying up too late, if I were to follow my heart, who knows where I’d be?
But even if I’m not often taking my heart’s advice, I need to let it talk.
The other day as I cried in front of the mirror, I yelled at my reflection. “What the heck are you doing? Crying is NOT productive.” “You knew it was going to be hard, so don’t pretend you didn’t know what you were getting into.” “Some adult you turned out to be, helplessly crying as if that would make anything better. What in the world do you actually think that’s going to do for you?”
There are proactive ways to adjust faster, but ultimately, making a move and feeling at home again simply takes time. My heart needs to process some of these emotions. That’s just the way it goes.
It’s uncomfortable. It’s awkward. It’s embarrassing. It sucks.
But when facing a new, scary, stressful new situation, my message to myself–and to those of you who are too hard on yourselves–is to have the self-compassion to feel the pain and fear. And–perhaps even more so–the humility to feel the embarrassment (and maybe even shame) of feeling the pain and fear.
I want to say the strong human is the one who has so much control over his emotions that they only go where he leads. But I am starting to believe that instead, the person who can acknowledge his feelings–and let them happen as they need to (regardless of how unpleasant, lame, or “stupid” they may seem)–is actually the stronger one.