The heart of the matter is this: Our heart is the very core of our being. It is our essence. It establishes firmly who we are, how we feel, what we desire, who we love, how we give, who we give to, how we forgive, why we forgive, what we hold, and what we release. Our heart, as King Solomon wrote so long ago now is the keeper of our lives. It is a well spring from which all good, bad, possible, wonderful, awful, and powerful come forth.
I woke up this morning with this scripture weighing heavy on my heart, because yesterday I took a risk and gave my heart. It turns out that I did not guard my heart well because the person with whom I trusted my heart had shown me too many times that they were not capable of keeping my heart, honoring my heart, and most important receiving the gift of my heart and love. You know what? That is okay. I am not mad. I am disappointed and I am hurt but it will pass because I am surrounded with people who love, adore, and pour life into me. I am not going to make vows never to be a friend again, or to show love again, to care again, or to give again. To do so would be to violate myself. Or as my sister Kim Bady says, “abandon myself.”
I will do neither. I am a lover. I am. I love to love. I love to give. I love to care, connect, and share with others. I really do like people. And we attract who and what we are to ourselves (never forget that). The reality is though in a world of fast moving people, gadgets and unkind hearts, we must be careful who we love and who we give our gifts to. And we must do so in a way that does not isolate us, wall us off or make us afraid to be who we are. Too many people are walking this earth “shattered” as one of my favorite first ladies Alethia Ramsey likes to say. There is a big difference between being shattered and broken. You can recover from broken. But shattered is non-recoverable. My heart breaks for the people I have come across in my 40 something years who have allowed life to break them beyond repair. They hold on to hurts, pain, offenses, gossip, pettiness and they miss the blessings God sends abundantly before them. These people never quite get the big picture of their lives and of what truly matters. And they stay stuck. They never move forward because they are always focused on what someone did to them. Never looking at themselves or the hurt they cause to others. It is a sad way to live life. As a result, they miss their opportunities; they miss best friends; they miss financial blessings; they miss a new spouse after the person they loved divorced them, cheated on them, or died unexpectedly. They miss out because they are so busy guarding their hearts that they forget to give their hearts to those who show UP and who are worthy of love. (Don’t miss that last sentence).
I read a great article once by leadership training expert Michael Hyatt titled, Three Reasons Why You Must Guard Your Heart. Here is an excerpt of what he shared.
#1: Hyatt says (and I agree) that your heart is the most important leadership tool you have. It is not your experience, knowledge, or skills. It is your heart that matters most of all. Then he goes on to outline 3 reasons why as leaders we must guard our heart:
Because your heart is extremely valuable. We don’t guard worthless things. It is the essence of who you are. It is your authentic self—the core of your being. It is where all your dreams, your desires, and your passions live. It is that part of you that connects with God and other people.
Because your heart is the source of everything you do. King Solomon says it is the “wellspring of life.” In other words, it is the source of everything else in your life. Your heart overflows into thoughts, words, and actions.
Because your heart is under constant attack. When Solomon says to guard your heart, he implies that you are living in a combat zone—one in which there are casualties. Many of us are oblivious to the reality of this war. We have an enemy who is bent on our destruction. He not only opposes God,but he opposes everything that is aligned with Him—including us.
My take on it is this: Hyatt is dead on because a good leader, strikes a balance between his heart and his mind. If we lead just with our knowledge we will often miss the human element that is so important. Yet if we constantly lead with our emotions/our heart we will miss the important skill of protecting ourselves from harm and those who do not share our values or heart. My message today is all about guarding your heart, but DO NOT take that to mean you should shut down or close yourself off from new people, new experiences or the people in your life right now. An open heart makes the world a place of possibilities. A closed heart shuts all of those possibilities down.
Guard your heart–but don’t forget to give it away too! Today’s Inspiration is NOW available: 559-726-1299 code 874081