I have a pillow in my office chair that I bought a few years back. The silver glittery arrow – a popular trend then – was particularly cute and pleaded to be purchased. So, I did. It really served no purpose other than to be cute and fill a needed space.
“Follow your heart”, it read. And I guess that is exactly what I did when I read it – I followed my heart straight to the register, with the pillow in-tow.
Each day went by, and I began to feel indifferent about its slogan. It exuded an unwelcomeness. It made me feel uncomfortable. It has mostly been on the floor, and on occasion, when I vacuum, I will place it back on the chair. But every time I sit down, I toss it back on the floor. And I think to myself, “I really don’t like that pillow”.
I’ve seen this slogan off and on for years; on t-shirts, on pictures, on social media. I’ve even heard people say it when giving others advice and encouragement. If you’re not following your heart, you must be following another, I suppose. And the idea behind the slogan is to focus on what we want, need, care about, and what matters to self.
“Follow your heart”…seems so promising and correctional, doesn’t it? Like a knight in shiny armor. A resolution to any problem, and a pathway leading to happiness. A fix all! I find the arrow remarkably ironic.
I’ve always been a follower of my own heart. I’ve always done what I want, when I want, and how I wanted. And to be honest, it has never made me happy. It has never brought me joy. And it has never resolved anything. It gave no comfort, no peace, and no mercy. It only led me down a darker, and more (what seemed) attractive path. Following my heart didn’t make things clearer, it only led to more confusion and regret.
Following my heart, and the heartache it has actually caused me, has been an eye opening experience. With the amazing grace and mercy of God, it has led me to following something better, and bigger than self. It has led me to following Christ. It has lead me to pray for a heart like His, and put my hope in Him alone. I shouldn’t be following my heart, I should be following Jesus!
Our hearts our tainted with corruptness, wickedness, and evil. There is nothing good in it without Jesus. Jesus IS good, and to have a good heart, Jesus must be included and involved. Our hearts want and seek comfort and pleasure. And when Jesus is excluded, the comfort and pleasure involves sin. The sin of pride, bitterness, sexual pleasure and its exploration, deceitfulness, malice, confusion and manipulation. Hate, division, and anger.
Our hearts cannot be trusted, and when we do trust in our own, the evil that fills it will thrive and grow. And eventually, we are left with a self-centered and lonely heart.
“Following your heart” is a trap! And the arrow to which it points is misery.
So today, I have decided to burn the pillow. I would normally donate such an item, but I don’t want anyone that receives it to believe that, “following your heart”, is good advice, nor a pathway leading to happiness.