Oct
13

When Your Heart’s Not in It

By

It’s usually hard to do something when your heart is not in it. Of course, it depends on what the task or situation is and how important it is to you and the duration of time involved. Every day, people manage to be with someone or do things or participate in something that they don’t particularly care for, whether it’s inconsequential or something important. We do the best we can to meet our obligations.

When it comes to responsibilities to self or to each other or to a job or business or anything connected to our safety and security, and our heart is just not in it, well the stakes get higher. It can be more complicated. Other people will likely be involved and our well-being may be affected. We’re talking about circumstances like:

  • Putting up with an unhappy relationship because you feel responsible
  • Working at an unsatisfying job because it pays the bills
  • Cooking dinner every night because you’re the mother
  • Exercising at the gym because it’s paid for, but you dread it
  • Completing any obligation that feels like a huge burden

It may feel like a noble thing to do or a sacrifice you’re willing to make when you consistently fulfill obligations that you cannot stand. In the end, if you do feel good about it and proud and happy, then keep it up because your heart is engaged in some way even if it’s not obvious to you.

Whatever approach you take, be honest about it. Life gives us clues and looking at what’s going on with an intention to know the truth will bring you closer to what your heart wants. We all usually know when a relationship is one-sided or brings out the worse in us rather than the best. If it’s a job, maybe you’re good at it, but there’s no challenge left or your creativity feels stifled. Or, it could be that whatever it is, you find it too hard to do or painful. Honesty really is the best policy here because we can’t really make any effective changes if we’re denying the reality and the truth.

Sometimes it’s necessary to accept what the situation is, because of other factors. The problem is that when your heart is not in it, anger and resentment and feeling unappreciated can build up. When this happens, it can be helpful to get a fresh perspective.

  • Focus on how you’re serving others and yourself
  • Notice your purpose and the greater purpose
  • Appreciate yourself for the difference you make
  • Continue to envision a better scenario
  • Make a plan to move beyond the status quo

If this doesn’t do it for you, then greater attention is warranted. After all, when your heart’s not in it, then you’re suffering in some way and that can’t be a good thing unless you really like being a martyr. Keeping yourself locked in a relationship or in a career or situation that is causing you to suffer shows a lack of self-love. And, we are talking about the heart here so if there’s a lack of self-love, self-care or self-appreciation, then loving change of some nature is called for. Take some time to ponder and evaluate and acknowledge the reality of the situation or relationship. Love yourself enough to reach out and get some help, embracing the change that makes your heart sing.

© Deborah A. Lindholm

Comments

  1. Russ says:

    Wise words

  2. JUK says:

    My goodness, I really needed to hear that. I work as a dentist and after 10 years of dentistry, I have disc degeneration in my lower back and sciatica. My heart has not really been in it from the start, but I have persevered because of initially not wanting to let all the training by the wayside, having the aim of getting really good at dentistry, and then later for financial reasons, as a year taken out to rest my back blew all my savings.

    I have been reasonably comfortable in my current job, now in my 4th year. However the physical challenge is now met with an emotional challenge, as very often I’m treating young children who just aren’t interested. It is not satisfying or rewarding at all, especially when you consider that all this effort is being launched at teeth which are eventually going to fall out. I’m just not built for this, and it is a step in the right direction to recognise that.

    However, what you wrote, “if you do feel good about it and proud and happy, then keep it up because your heart is engaged in some way even if it’s not obvious to you” really struck a chord. I also treat a large number of patients with special needs, and even though there is little I can often do in the way of dentistry, I am able to give support to the parents, advise on alternative services, make referrals to people who can offer further support, and over time I’ve seen people’s social circumstances improve. So my heart is in this aspect of my work, and I do feel like I add value there. I think your article has helped me to see that, and to help me to cope. Until I logged on and saw your article, I was dragged down in the negativity of feeling overwhelmed, angry, abused by my work and desperate to get out. Now, I can focus on the positive – I actually see one! – and that has completely changed how I feel on the inside.

    I have no idea what my next step will be. But I know what I will be doing in the meantime:

    Focus on how you’re serving others and yourself
    Notice your purpose and the greater purpose
    Appreciate yourself for the difference you make
    Continue to envision a better scenario
    Make a plan to move beyond the status quo

    Yes yes and yes. Thank you and God bless you for sharing this advice, it really is spot on.

    Jas x

  3. Christina says:

    I really needed to read this now! Thank you!

  4. Deborah says:

    You’re welcome, Christina. So glad that the article was helpful and timely.

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As always, please consult with qualified health professionals before putting session or workshop ideas into practice. The ideas and techniques are not meant to diagnose or replace the need for medical attention or professional mental health care.

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