Tuning into our hearts and what we are feeling can be called many things: inner voice, intuition, gut instincts, faith, etc. Whatever your preference for terminology, paying attention to the words of our hearts and souls seems to make a difference. We allow ourselves to obtain peace and comfort as we make life decisions and let go of anxieties when we listen to ourselves.
Listening to what our hearts say can only occur when we are honest with ourselves - free of preconceived ideas and intentions. We must open our minds and ourselves to all realities, not just what we want. It is easy to confuse what we want with what we need, whether it's physical, emotional, or financial. We all have ulterior motives to obtain what we want even when dealing with ourselves.
As we begin letting go of that which holds us captive through fear and anxiety, we learn to make the best decisions we can with the information we have at the time. Part of this information is knowing how we feel about a situation and about the options available.
We listen by identifying what we are feeling and allowing ourselves to feel those feelings rather than rushing through one feeling to the next. This helps in all realms of life whether it is releasing fear and anxiety, making a decision, resetting ourselves spiritually, self-discovery, and coping with life. It is particularly useful in emotional healing from grief or trauma as we cope and adjust to a life change. Not allowing the process to flow naturally and completely can be harmful as we can delude ourselves in believing that which is false within us. Rebound relationships, incomplete grieving, and yoyoing of depression and anger are common examples of rushing this natural process.
Let us not hide from our feelings, viewing them as a weakness or an inconvenience. Rather let us honor our feelings for what they are - a gift that lets us experience life in the fullest. Joy and heartache are neither to shrink back from - both lead us to the depths of unimaginable feelings and experiences that ultimately try to teach us gratitude and strength.