Heart. noun. According to Dictionary.com, “A hollow, pumplike organ of blood circulation; the center of the total personality, especially with reference to intuition, feeling, or emotion; the center of emotion, especially as contrasted to the head as the center of the intellect.” Don’t worry, this has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.
Friends, I have been in a funk lately.
My apologies if you’ve had to put up with me.
The loose ends of my heart are tangled and confusing. I find myself vacantly staring out the window more than ever, and it’s not for the view of never-ending snow. I don’t know what I want or what my problem is or what I can do to fix myself. Things I thought were decided are becoming uncertain once again. It’s wearying. The dreary still-winter outside isn’t helping.
But a small miracle is happening. In spite of my angst, my heart keeps beating, doing the everyday work of survival. Even though I am distracted by foggy discontent, the sun still beams golden across my dorm room floor. Beautiful words still zing my soul and make me inhale deep. Piano-driven harmonies still smooth the tension in my shoulders. There are still things that make my heart beat fast with anticipation and slow with comfort and alive with purpose.
Watch this video if you have 90 seconds to spare, and you might begin to see what I mean.
When I get stuck in a season of questioning and confusion, I withdraw and neglect the hard work of conversation and being nice. My mood sways with hormones and churning thoughts. Self-pity runs rampant, and I forget that joy is a choice.
I’m going to drive myself crazy. Along with anyone who has to put up with me for more than five minutes.
So even though I’m still in a wonky place, I’m going to choose to spot beauty and goodness. For the next little while, I’m going to write about what makes my heart beat. I’m going to notice the things that make my breath catch and wonder at the art hiding in corners of my life and write about them. This is not a hard and fast rule, so don’t freak if other topics appear in this space. But right now, I feel like I need to write about what I love. My constant introspection and mental analysis are getting a little weighty. So I’m giving myself a break from sorting out my brain and I’m going to capture the things that makes me feel alive. They might be flaky or sentimental or meaningless to anyone who’s not me. And that’s okay.
This is not a matter of trying to gloss over the hard stuff, to make my heart surface-level happy and to tidy up messy soul-work. This is a matter of survival, of purposefully seeking the beautiful God-given in each day, because otherwise I will lose my mind and hope. I believe that we must deal with the crap of life, staring it in the face and smacking it to pieces if necessary. But I also believe that we must find beauty even when the rough and dark happen, that we must look for ways that the invisible God is showing up.
This is how I’m balancing light and dark, heavy and hope.