This happened to me a while ago with the word wholehearted. How was I missing the word wholehearted? I love the word wholehearted! The dictionary defines it as...completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic and marked by complete earnest commitment, free from all reserve or hesitation. Yep, I love the word wholehearted, going in with the commitment of your whole, entire heart. Love it!!!
What would it mean then to live wholeheartedly? Can you imagine if you lived with the enthusiastic commitment of your WHOLE heart? Free from all reserve or hesitation? Whoa, stop the train! Does that mean letting go of fear and doubt and worry? Does that mean being vulnerable? Can I live from my whole heart and not forgive?
Why would anyone suggest to live life wholeheartedly? It seems as though sometimes it would be okay and sometimes it would be too risky. Don't I need to protect myself? Won't I get hurt or disappointed if I put my whole heart out there?
The bible refers to how we should love the Lord your God with all of our heart, with all of our soul, with all of our mind, and with all of our strength. Wholehearted living involves loving yourself, God and others with all your heart. Wholehearted living means giving it all that you've got all of the time. It's not half-hearted living, or three-quarter hearted living, it's opening up and exposing it all, not some of the time, but all of the time.
What gets in the way of living wholeheartedly? Are we truly experiencing all that life has to offer if we are holding back, not giving our whole heart to life, to ourselves and to others? I think we start out life wholehearted. Think about the babies and toddlers that you know, I would propose that they live wholeheartedly. They are all in always, they lay it all out there passionately for the world to see.
Over time, society and our life experiences teach us that we need to protect ourselves, that we need to reserve part of our heart, that we can't completely and enthusiastically devote our whole heart or we may get hurt. We avoid being vulnerable and play it safe...we are no fool. Where does this get us? Will I be satisfied at the end of my life having played it safe? Having lived half-hearted? I can just hear myself talking...Whoa, sure am glad that I protected myself so I didn't feel pain while I was here, so I didn't get hurt, so I didn't look like a fool and wasn't too vulnerable. Is that what it's supposed to be about, living half-hearted?
Wholehearted living is about getting comfortable in your own shoes, it's about freedom, it's about have nothing to hide, nothing to fear, nothing to prove and nothing to lose.
I have been actively working on opening my heart more, holding it wide-open. Even in those moments where my instinct says to throw up walls and shut it down, I stop myself and surround it in love and open my heart up. What's funny is that the more I hold it open, the less I seem to be getting hurt. It seems as I am opening my heart more and holding the space for love, that others seem to respond in kind...interesting. I'm also finding ways to toss in more compassion, more gratitude and more forgiveness as I hold my heart open. I'm working to gain additional perspective from others, not just viewing things from my perspective and my perception. Practicing all of these things helps me to live wholeheartedly.
Do you live wholeheartedly? If you do, is it a conscious decision? What inspires you to live with your whole heart? If you don't, what is holding you back? What steps can you take to begin living wholeheartedly? Do you see value in living wholeheartedly? I would love to hear feedback from you on this topic.
Brene Brown says to live wholeheartedly we need to:
1. Let go of what people think.
2. Let go of perfectionism.
3. Let go of numbing and powerlessness.
4. Let go of scarcity and fear of the dark.
5. Let go of the need for certainty.
6. Let go of comparison.
7. Let go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.
8. Let go of anxiety as a lifestyle.
9. Let go of self-doubt and “supposed to.”
10. Let go of being cool and “always in control.”