Thursday, April 13, 2017

Seeing clearly with the heart.

President Uchtdorf, in last October’s general women’s session quoted a piece from The Little Prince: “One sees clearly, only with the heart.” I've thought about it off and on since then.

This reminded me that from time to time I hear the message in movies: “Listen to your heart.”  That message has always puzzled me because growing up in the church I have heard the message “Listen to the Holy Ghost” much more, and I trust that a lot more than a message of “Listen to your heart.”  Why should I listen to myself? I don’t always want the right things.

Recently I figured out what that message of “listen to your heart” is really trying to say, and also that idea of seeing clearly with your heart. 

We all have a place deep down inside that knows what is right and wrong. It’s the conscience, the light of Christ. It tells us with radical, sometimes painful honesty the truth about what we are doing and what we should do.

“Listen to your heart” is about having the courage to face that and admit it is truthful. It takes being honest with ourselves to acknowledge and follow it.

Do we see clearly only with the heart? Yes. The heart--our conscience--tells the truth.

The neat thing I’ve discovered on top of that is that while there is the natural man that whines and complains about not wanting to do hard things, there is also a part of me that resonates with my conscience, that rejoices in what it says and raises a fist and shouts, “Yes!” and is eager to follow it.  That’s the spiritual part of me, the part that is a daughter of God, the part that is fearless and loves the truth. That’s the real me that I want to develop further by doing what’s right.

I suppose that counsel to listen to your heart was developed as a way to give a religious message without sounding religious. I just don’t care for how it sounds too much like advice to listen to your desires rather than your conscience.

In what way do you think seeing with the heart helps us see clearly? What have you seen with your heart that you would have missed otherwise?


Rozy Lass said...

One thing my husband has taught me about seeing with the heart is to give people the benefit of the doubt. He is so generous and believes that others don't mean to say or do hurtful things, he gives them the benefit of the doubt and is forgiving. I am always too quick to ascribe the worst motives and believe that others do things on purpose to annoy or hurt me. Wrong. That's just one way I've noticed that listening to our hearts will tell us that others are just as human and fallible as we ourselves are.

Michaela Stephens said...

Oh, good one. Seeing things with charity.