two hundred & sixteen: wholehearted

i was thinking of this word, these past couple of days, and i’m not sure i do very much wholeheartedly anymore.

i mean, it sounds so positive and good, right? being dedicated with the entirety of your heart to something, having so much sincerity, really committing fully to it.

it’s just that i have a good one-quarter to maybe even one-third of my heart cordoned off, blockaded, protected. i don’t bring the whole of my heart very many places anymore.

coz when i have brought all of me (and i used to do this, all the time) and i inevitably get trampled (coz i will), it is fucking terrible. and terrifying. because there’s nothing left just for me, there’s no little corner into which i can retreat and howl and hide. there’s just hurt and hurt and hurt.

i mean honestly, do you know how dangerous it is to live wholeheartedly? yeah, pretty sure it’s not for me, no siree bob.

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i know i’ve referenced brenĂ© brown already this past week but i can’t help it. she has a new special on netflix right now that is so, so good, and is an expert in shame, so we have that in common (the latter, not the former, lol). i find her incredibly likeable and relatable and awkward, and she is an engaging speaker, which i respect. and even though i tend to resist people promoted by oprah just because i can’t stand how she stamps her gigantic O on everything, i find myself making an exception for ms brown.

anyway, long story short, she has these ten ‘guideposts’ for wholehearted living that fascinate me. i’ve read them on other websites before, or maybe seen them in list form on her own website, but what i really need to do is read this one book of hers, where she explores them further. here they are – and i’ve taken the liberty to rate my progress in relation to each of them, just for shits and giggles:

  1. cultivating authenticity – letting go of what other people think (nope)
  2. cultivating self-compassion – letting go of perfectionism (double nope)
  3. cultivating a resilient spirit – letting go of numbing and powerlessness (again, no)
  4. cultivating gratitude and joy – letting go of scarcity and fear of the dark (i wish…but alas, no)
  5. cultivating intuition and trusting faith – letting go of the need for certainty (i’m sorry, but letting go of certainty sounds like a stupid idea)
  6. cultivating creativity: letting go of comparison (i’ll give myself 0.5/1 for this one)
  7. cultivating play and rest – letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth (also 0.5/1 here)
  8. cultivating calm and still: letting go of anxiety as a lifestyle (i’d be more than happy to let it go – you mean to say we’ve all been choosing it all this time and we can just…not?!)
  9. cultivating meaningful work: letting go of self-doubt and ‘supposed to’ (bahahahaha newwwwp)
  10. cultivating laughter, song and dance: letting go of being cool and ‘always in control’ (finally! one i’ve got!)

so basically, i’m 2 for 10. abysmal. mostly in the letting go categories, if i’m honest. i can cultivate all kinds of things, i’m all over that shit. but it’s when i try to remove resistance that i drag my heels extra. pun intended.

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i guess i also feel like wholeheartedness requires an innocence that i no longer have. a naivete that i cannot subscribe to, knowing what i know now.

but i want to be challenged on this. i actually do want to live from my whole heart, i want to trust, i want that earnest sense of okayness that must pervade the lives of those who go forth with every corner of their heart open. i want to know how to do that, i really do.