How Do You Follow Your Heart When You Can’t?

Another day gone by and I wake up with my heart aching. I thought it was getting better but it’s not. I’m here, yet my heart is somewhere else. And it’s not as easy as just following it. I can’t leave and I can’t really explain why in sensical terms, especially to those who are people of science and not of God. I can be quite illogical. 

How do you “follow your dreams” when you can’t? How do you follow your heart when you can’t? I can’t. I have to stay here, restless, broken, confused. Oh, almost like the song: “lost, broken, confused” because I am also kinda lost. I don’t feel at home. I haven’t felt at home for years.

I’m a nomad, adrift… just going through the motions now and stuck in my bubble away from outside life.

I move a ton, and everywhere I go I find myself back in my bubble. Moves/change should bring excitement, new adventures, new friends… but I always fall back into my routine. I bury myself in the computer and in the kitchen: eat, work (from home), blog, exercise, cook, clean, sleep, pet the cat, repeat. Then move to a new town again, and repeat there too.

In the last 7 years I have moved 12 times, lived in 8 different towns/cities in 4 countries. I have rebuilt my life over and over, which doesn’t take much because I don’t have much, I don’t do much, and I don’t need much.

Frankly, if I did follow my dreams and my heart, I’d probably end up doing the same, getting back into my routine, my bubble. But somehow I wouldn’t feel lost.

The pink path. (Taken in India)

The worst part is that I can’t do anything about my situation right now other than accept it. I could try to forget my dreams, forget what my heart wants, and attempt to be happy with what I have at the moment, but I don’t want to do that. (Silly humans). The problem about not letting go is the pain. Knowing I can’t have what I want, at least not now, and who the heck knows if and when I will. I can’t give up the idea of “someday” but by not doing so, it hurts and I fail to be present.

So, if you can’t do something about it, should you let go? I don’t know. I can’t, though. (Did I mention humans are idiotic silly?)

And I also know I can’t fight for it. Not now. I thought I could, I thought I should. But I was wrong. The timing wasn’t right yet, I got it wrong. Unfortunately.

When will the stars align? Apparently one should not wait for the stars to align because they say that the right time never comes. Apparently if we wait for the right time, we miss out.

moon night new hampshire laconia
Under the same moon.

But I KNOW I have to keep waiting. I know it’s what I need to do. But it’s surely a struggle. And I wish the struggle was mine only. But my struggle affects more than one other person. My decision (no matter what I decide) affects other people. My beliefs and my feelings affect other people. I so wish it only affected me, only my mind, my heart, my life. Things would be easier knowing I’m the only one struggling because I don’t wish it on others. I especially don’t wish others to hurt because of me.

I can take giving up on dreams, I can take not giving in to my desires and my wants, I can take not following my heart, I can take the inner struggle. I can settle. But when what I do affects others, it makes it infinitely harder. When I feel like things are on my hands, even though they are in the hands of God, it is immeasurably more painful.

I’m not a proactive person. I am very go with the flow and passive. I am not assertive nor determined… I’m indecisive. Yet, I can be quite stubborn, and once I set my mind to something, it’s very hard to change it.

india2015 samadhi6

In this case, I knew what I wanted and I took big steps forward to get it. I’ve done it before. It was never easy, but it was doable. This time though, it blew up in my face because I was wrong. It wasn’t time. I did not go with the flow and I acted upon selfishness. When you fight for something you want, inevitably you are selfish. And sometimes you unintentionally hurt others, it’s just part of life, but when you do something for yourself knowing that others will be hurt, that’s a pretty high level of selfishness.

So what now? I’m not sure how to move forward. I can’t have what I want, yet I can’t let go of it.

I will wait I guess. Like Mumford & Sons. And hopefully the wait won’t drive me insane, because it’s a battle here inside me, full on. And hopefully my wait won’t hurt others too much. My mind and my heart are in constant turmoil.

tur·moil   ˈtərˌmoil/   noun
a state of great disturbance, confusion, or uncertainty.

I’ll just stay put. Wait for the frickin’ right time.

india2015 samadhi5


17 thoughts on “How Do You Follow Your Heart When You Can’t?

  1. I honestly don’t know what words to type here to offer you some comfort and solace. I hope that by the time you read this you have found some form of resolution to whatever it is that is causing you such turmoil. Reading your words makes my heart heavy and I’m sending virtual hugs and wishes your way for a better tomorrow. I hope you find peace, love and forgiveness in your hard place. God bless!

  2. Reading all the comments on your post made me want to share with you my personal expirience… I always had the thought that having compassion for other was a good way to Love God.. But what i have learn is… Exactly how I can know for sure what is really true compassion!!! Only God knows!!! And probably when I was supposed to have compassion most probably there were hidden fears and many other things involved. One true thing I have learned is that I know nothing, and that God loves us more than anyone can love us! So to get to my point.. First love yourself! Have compassion to your ownself, and love God the most!!!! The rest will follow!!!!!!

  3. Well done Mani to share your pain like this. I like what Amit said – be kind to yourself, forgiveness, compassion and acceptance for yourself. I also thought that since it seems you can’t change things, and you’re having trouble letting go, why not try practicing gratitude for what you have. And I mean relentlessly. Many times per day give thanks for something, anything – a clear sky, rain for the plants, food on the table, having a table, the ability to write, whatever – anything and everything. Just keep saying thank you. Over and over and over. Thank you thank you thank you. Eventually it will sink in and change your perspective.

  4. I so love your honest and vulnerable words. Thank you for sharing them. I have no idea what you’re going through but can feel your pain and turmoil. Trusting that it will pass and you’ll get through it, and hope you have everything you need to endure as you wait.
    Not sure if this is relevant but this is one thought that came out as I was reading: one thing I’m learning is that we are responsible for our own thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs, just as everyone else is responsible for theirs. So it’s okay that we each go about to try to deal with these things the best we can. i.e. sometimes we’ll choose to follow our hearts and do what we think is right. (So, not necessarily being selfish, just taking responsibility of your life). Sometimes it will hurt others and go against what others want, but if our intention was never to hurt them (and even if it was), they are the ones responsible for working through their pain and how they respond, and we have to accept their response. But we aren’t responsible for how they respond. That’s up to them. Our actions will always affect others because they have their own thoughts, feelings, wants and needs that they’re trying to deal with. It’s kind of like a constant negotiation of wants, needs, etc. whenever we’re with people.
    So I think it’s okay to at least speak up about how we’re feeling and what we want and need. And then deal with how people respond. But we are never responsible for how others respond. We are all responsible only for our own response.
    Ah, sorry again, rambling. Writing this more for me as this is something I’m trying to get clear in my head. For most of my life I’ve been thinking I was responsible for everyone’s pain, trying to fix everything and sacrifice my needs/wants for everyone else’s, and to learn these new insights is like a rewiring of my brain that is taking sometime.

    1. Wow Juni. That’s some powerful stuff. Definitely gets me thinking and opening up my scope of consciousness. (And again, I do not mind your rambling at all.. I don’t see it as rambling actually, I find it quite insightful and helpful). That’s an idea I have definitely not taken into consideration in my life. But you’re right, we can’t control how others react, only how we react and of course, our own actions.
      Your thoughts also remind me of the idea of wanting to please people and how it’s not possible to please everyone no matter how hard we try. I believe both you and I (from posts I’ve read in your blog/blogs), struggle with that as well.
      I think I need some rewiring too. And your thoughts are so helpful I must say. So, thank you. Maybe we can keep learning together, how to live better.
      I always appreciate your words.
      p.s. Do you prefer being called Juni or JD? (or something else?)

      1. Oh, so glad. I’ll keep rambling then whenever your posts get me thinking – hehe. Definitely a big time people pleaser, so I’m glad to learn together with you as we think about all this stuff. Hearing other people’s thoughts seems to help.
        I actually don’t mind at all. Either name is fine by me.

  5. I know it’s easy to say “follow your dreams”. And I do believe it’s for the most part, a load of crap. It’s not as simple, as you’ve mentioned. It would be awesome if it would. But there’s always external (and internal) factor to consider, some which we have no control over, unfortunately.
    But, also unfortunately, I must say that lying dormant never got me anywhere. I waited for decades for something in my life to happen, until it did.

    All I can add is from personal experience.
    I was married once, and it was a big mistake; because she never loved me. And I only got into the whole thing because I was “going with the flow”. I never spoke my mind. I thought it would be best to just let go of my dreams, as they would never come to fruition (or so I thought). Because, exactly like you, I’m also not a proactive person, I am also quite passive. I’m only assertive or determined if I truly think, feel or believe so. And this is all new to me. I wasn’t like that before. Even if I felt strongly like I shouldn’t marry that woman, I still had nothing more, and I had to let go of what I thought was best, because, who gives a shit about how I feel? I’m quite indecisive as well, usually when I don’t really know about the subject matter, or simply could go either way. But I’m just as stubborn when I can’t go either way. I’m easily persuaded, and the worst part, is that I truly am my own worst enemy. I’ve always been like that. And, fortunately, my stubbornness has always been confused with courage and strength, which always kept me away from alcohol and drug abuse. But it has it’s downsides for sure, such as staying somewhere even when your heart, mind and/or soul feel like they should be somewhere else.

    Unfortunately, personal experience is just that. Personal. It doesn’t translate into other people’s hearts or minds.
    All the best.

    1. Thank so much for sharing your experience and for your input and your thoughts. You make a lot of good points. And it sounds like we are very much alike. I keep hearing/reading that… the fact that “lying dormant” doesn’t get us anywhere. And well, why would it, right? Although, going (mostly) with the flow in my life, kinda has taken me places. A lot of places actually, if we’re speaking literally. And metaphorically as well.

      There have been a few instances in my life where I did exactly the opposite of going with the flow. And it came with a price, meaning it was HARD, and I got a lot of resistance, but I didn’t waver. I had my mind set. Sometimes I do wonder where some of my strength has come from. I think I just realized that going with the flow is WAY easier and that’s why I like it so much, especially since I don’t mind so much submitting to others’ people’s desires.

      Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts.

  6. Dear Mani, Your sadness and sense of despair sound so raw. I hope that by the time you read this, you will have leaned into a place of forgiveness, compassion and acceptance – most of all, of/for yourself. And joy! Sending hugs and blessings, may your dreams begin to sprout and come to fruition in the near future.

    1. Oh Amit, your words hit a chord in me. I’m often really hard on myself, and the fact that you mentioned “forgiveness, compassion and acceptance” for myself, it makes me cringe and it makes me sad and I realize you’re right. I often feel like I need forgiveness from others, and I need to have compassion for others. But I often skip/ignore me. And even though I may know that sometimes we should do things for ourselves, I just can’t get myself to stop feeling like whatever I do for myself is selfish, and I’m a BIG believer of not being selfish, at least of trying our best to not be so. We are human after all, but I can’t get myself to use it as an excuse. I don’t know if there is a line I’m allowed to pass. I don’t know where the line is, if there’s one.
      Anyway, thank you so so much for your words. All the best to you.

      1. ps you’ve got it wrong about selfish, Mani, if I may… or maybe society has turned the word on its head, into a negative trait. Which is why I sometimes prefer the word self-ful (though the meaning is the same); if you will not look out, care for and treat yourself with deep love and care, then really, aren’t you doing yourself a disservice? Darn those wordsmiths, they got it all wrong. I’m all for selfish – while also caring for others. Try it out sometime 😉

  7. I don’t have the words, Mani – this is such a deep and vulnerable post. Sending happy thoughts and prayers your way that you have peace of mind and heart and are able to follow your dreams and your heart and that everything will happen in it’s right time.

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