Learn to Listen
“It took me a very long time to discover that I didn't need reasons for doing what I did. I don't have to explain, or convince, or come up with answers for what happened. I went on this journey because I had to. Learning to follow your heart is reason enough.”
Sue Bender (Plain and Simple)
In my mind's eye, I clearly see my mother's face. She's gazing intently at a piece of my artwork—this time, scraps of bright colored fabric, buttons, and beads glued to canvas in a spiraling pattern. Her look is simple puzzlement. “What does it mean, Jane?” I confess, I had no idea. What does any piece of art mean?
My son, Ian, has written the lyrics to a hymn—he sings in his church choir. He doesn't read music, has no idea how to score it, but knows the tune that seems to fit the words. His choir director, who teaches music at Samford University, has offered to collaborate by writing the score. Our pastor, Paul, said in his sermon a couple of weeks ago, that over the course of his life, Leonard Cohen wrote more than one hundred verses for his song, “Hallelujah.” Of course, no one is going to sing one hundred verses, but that didn't stop him from writing them. We do these things because we have to.
My Uncle Jerry was an artist at a time and place in which it wasn't kosher for men to paint pretty pictures. He hadn't a single lesson in his life, and yet could replicate the Masters with unusual precision. He made his living by day as a welder, and at night, painted beautiful canvases in oil. I believe that his heart was always in his art, and simply could not be denied.
Sometimes, we don't know the reason for the journey. Inside, our heart/soul beckons us, saying, “follow me.” When we refuse, when we tell ourselves “that's just a silly idea,” or “I don't have time for that,” or “I'd just make a mess of it,” we are denying our soul's need for expression. To follow where the heart leads requires no explanation, no excuses, no apologies. You don't even have to understand it yourself. Simply learning to follow your heart is a life lesson. Rest assured that something important is being worked out within; something that moves you in the direction of wholeness.
In the Spirit,