What Does it Mean to “Listen to Your Heart?”

It’s common advice in spiritual circles and self-help wisdom to “listen to your heart.” I say it myself quite often in psychic readings, and I feel the importance of it in living a balanced life. But what exactly does it mean? How does the heart speak to us? And how can we tell if the guidance we’re getting is coming from our heart? Here are a few tips to help you discern and acknowledge heart-centered guidance.

  1. Your intuitive voice speaks through the heart. It can be a subtle, unexplainable urge or nudge. It’s that small, internal voice that guides us to take some action, or pay attention, or investigate something. Listening to it requires that we cultivate some quiet in our day, some time to internally reflect and shift our attention from the constant distraction of the external world and our mind’s evaluation of it.
  2. The heart speaks with love. It is the seat of self-love, self-care and self-awareness, and as such, it will always guide us in a gentle, loving way. The ego, while a necessary aspect of our sense of individuality and identity, can react in fear with self-recrimination, alarm and criticism. For example, the ego voice may loudly proclaim, “Are you crazy? You’ll never be able to do that!” while the heart may gently say, “Let’s try this instead.”
  3. The heart connects us through compassion and empathy with all others. It urges us to listen, to care, to see ourselves in the eyes of someone who is suffering. But as it is also the seat of self-love, it recognizes that we need not take on the suffering of others. While it recognizes our connection, it also senses that each life path offers its own rewards through all experiences, and so it will offer support and care without attachment. It is the ego that will desire to be fed through judgment, a desire to be the “hero” who “saves” someone, or blaming others for its inability to be happy. The heart simply radiates love.
  4. The heart is also a receiver. Think of the physical function of the heart in your body; it circulates nourishing blood throughout your entire physical form through miles of internal vascular networks. The blood flows through the heart as a constant stream of entering and exiting, receiving and giving, opening and closing. That blood can be seen as a metaphor for love. As the heart gives love, it also receives, and it is in that reciprocal flow that the energy of the spirit is truly nourished. Having an open heart means we are willing to receive love and acknowledge that we are deserving of its sustenance.
  5. Our emotions are deeply connected to the heart center. We mourn loss because we have deeply loved, we feel anger or disappointment because our inner balance of love and compassion has been challenged, we feel fear because our ego wants to avoid the heartbreak of failure. Emotions create powerful energy which is an essential aspect of the human experience, and they need to be fully acknowledged, felt and expressed for their full benefits to be realized. Unfortunately, our culture tends to see emotions as weakness, and we are taught to hide them or push them aside rather than express them in a healthy way. Allowing ourselves to cry, to express our feelings through the heart centered seat of love and compassion, to really feel what we need to feel, is a form of honoring and learning about ourselves through the potent energy of our emotions.

Shifting our beliefs about the truth and wisdom found in the heart through our intuitive knowing, compassion and love for ourselves and others, remaining open to receive love, and honoring our emotions can help us find balance between heart-centered awareness and the logical processes of thought, and will lead to a greater sense of being anchored in truth and a connection with the divine. Have you listened to your heart today?