In recent weeks I’ve dug into the word “wholehearted.” I had gotten a little lazy with this word, essentially defining it as much like “open hearted.” On the journey I’ve discovered a new side of wholehearted though. As much as we largely know this word to be openly driven and passionate, “all in,” if you will, it can also be fiercely protective, serving as the inspiration we need to set boundaries like we never have before. The great spirit within me said, “is what you believe in held strongly enough within you to put up fences or cut ties if you need to? What if it means those blessed ‘shoulds’ become ‘can’ts’?” The good girl in me shuddered.
I love looking at words like this in their wholeness – the common surface meaning along with the exposed underbelly, which is where I tend to find the essence that feels deeply satisfying and expansive. The imagery I was given for “Wholehearted” looked like a beautiful car that is always clean on the outside and well-kept on the inside with a delightful smell as soon as you open the door. Underneath was the intensity… a complex system of belts, bolts and a powerful engine, that honestly, wasn’t running all that well. It was slathered in a thick grease that made it hard to hold onto anything. The meaning I received in this is that it is easy for me to seem as though I’m wholehearted on the outside because my belief is that a spiritually-driven person exudes this through their every pore. However, I was reminded that I cannot stop tinkering beneath the surface. I have to continually ask myself, “Am I living wholeheartedly? Am I acting and speaking what I truly believe? Am I willing to pull back or reach further as needed? Can I take my foot off the gas long enough to tinker a bit and get things running more in tune with myself?” I need to be real about it with myself because I can’t get where I’m looking to go if my engine is sputtering and spitting like an old jalopy. I’m finding this to be most helpful when I examine an area of life that I am struggling with. The struggles are my misfiring engine letting me know its time for a tune up again.
Wholehearted ain’t easy. It can hurt – you and others. I’ve felt that in the last couple of weeks. But the payoff is in staying true to your own personal integrity. No one can be devoted to your ever-evolving cause like you. Live it. Be it, unabashedly. And know, that constant maintenance is part of the job. As your beliefs spin about and experiences and people come in and out, some of the belts and bolts under the hood have to be tightened or replaced altogether. You can trust that Planet Earth will offer an endless highway for you to fine tune as needed. But she also gives you the exhilaration of laying the hammer down to enjoy your one-of-a-kind fully, ALL IN, wholehearted spirit.
Wholehearted: completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic