tell your heart to beat again.

I had jury duty.  In Kentucky.  

Why Kentucky?  

Funny you should ask. 

When I moved from Vermont to Chicago, I learned that in order to get my license here in Illinois, I was going to have to take the driver’s test. The WRITTEN test! WTF.  So, seeing that our farm is in Kentucky, and we spend about 50% of our time there, I got the brilliant idea to register the car and license myself down there. 

Never in my wildest dreams did I even think about jury duty! 

And that is how I found myself making the 7 hour drive on Sunday afternoon, to report for jury on Monday morning, only to have the case postponed. I couldn’t decide if this pleased me or not. I felt sort of burdened by the thought of the whole process but, I also felt excited to be a part of the process, knowing this is what allows us all the hope for a fair trial.

Anyway, there I was on Monday afternoon, released from duty, trying to decide if I should turn right back around and head back to Chicago or spend 1/2 a day on a farm project? I decided to visit an Aunt who had been ill and then head back to the city. So, there I was, back in the car making the 7 hour return trip just 24 hours later.

While driving by myself I usually listen to music that the rest of the fam does not love… But, one of my favorite stations is the Joel Osteen channel, when he is giving a sermon. Being Jewish, it might seem odd that I enjoy Joel. But I do. I really find him motivational, and I am able to separate the GOD talk (I must say it is glorious God talk, if you are a Church goer!) from the motivational talk.

Joel’s sermon “Stay Passionate about Life” was on and it was rich. He was talking about not making comparisons and living our best lives. Not worrying about what others have, but rather to focus on  what you are doing, and how you are living. Honestly, I have been known to dwell in comparison every so often. My man however, is pretty good about NOT living there. He is often heard saying “ Don’t count other people’s money”. My reaction to that is I don’t really count anyones money, but I def can be heard counting their vacations!!! HAHAHAHA. #truth.

And then he said it. “Tell your heart to beat again…Some of you today, you’ve been through disappointments and life hasn’t turned out the way you had hoped. You could easily just sit on the sidelines. But God is telling you, you need to tell your heart to beat again. Tell your heart to dream again. Tell your heart to believe again”.

Mind you, this, on the very day that I heard Luke Perry died. 52 years old. His heart stopped. One minute he was fine, and the next not. Devastating. My mind shattered. It wasn’t that I was ever a 90210 Dylan fan, it was just the random suddenness. And his age. So unbelievably sad for his friends and family. Made me want to squeeze my peeps. And hard.

As I was speeding  through the heartland to return to my city life, and most importantly to my man, whom I now anxiously felt I needed to hug. I got to thinking about when my heart almost stopped beating…in the proverbial way, that is.

See, not so long ago, I was single. And single for a very long time. I lived in beautiful, but small Vermont. I was not the outdoorsy type, and I was hard pressed to find one healthy, viable option for a potential partner.  After awhile I started to doubt. My heart began to atrophy. I was starting to feel my heart was going to require some serious massaging to be brought back to life.

I decided one August to change my love trajectory. But how and where to begin? I knew that my daughter was growing up, and that my purpose was going to be changing. I knew that my heart had entered into serious doubt mode. It felt I was almost at the point of not being able to trust others OR my own heart. So, I did what any teenage girl might do….I made a vision board. Yup. I legit cut out pics and words of what I was looking for in a partner. 

I wanted a powerful man, with a sense of humor, who loved live music and dance, who adored me, who was looking for a solid commitment to me and us. I know…I know….isn’t that what every one is looking for? Could I ask for anything more? But, after all, I deserved, and still do, tons of goodness.

Then I went on to surround myself with happy couples. Loving couples. At the time, I could only think of 2 that really exemplified the giddy kind of love that I was looking for.  So, as often as I could, I hung out with both of them, or just the women of the pairings. And I continued to put out the vision of what I was hoping to find. 

I was essentially determined to resuscitate my own heart. 

Just a few months later, in January of that same year, my #farmboy showed up in Vermont from Chicago, just to take me out for dinner. He sort of landed on my proverbial doorstep, if you will..actually, it was at a local restaurant, but you get the point. You see, we dated in high school. We lost touch, and when we reconnected he was going through tough times. We began inboxing each other daily long, funny, poignant letters.. He made me laugh. We shared about ourselves. I simply felt I was there to help him get through his challenges. I was paying it forward for all those that were there for me during my tough times.

But, just like in high school, he really made me laugh. He was smart. He was cute. 

And, just like that, he snuck in to my heart and began to resuscitate it. Much like I hoped I was doing for his heart. 

I believed. I knew I would be/could be a good partner in a healthy and loving relationship. I knew I wanted my heart to beat again, and would. I knew I wanted to really be alive. 

Today my life is intertwined with that of my mans in every way. My heart beats with love for him, our children and our life together. 

I am here, as proof, that if you end bad habits that might be standing in your way, and surround yourself with all the goodness you are hoping to have for yourself, that chances are very good that you will be be alive and that you can make your heart beat again!

Can I challenge you? Take a look at your life. Are you grateful every day? Is there something that you are needing/lacking to make your heart beat again? What do you need to do to resuscitate your heart? Is it travel, and seeing the world? Maybe you can start putting your change in a jar and start imagining where your first trip will be. (I promise to be happy for you, and not to count your trips!!!) Are you at a place in life where a new career/job is needed? Start listing your skill set and talking with people who are in that field.

What is it for you that will make your heart beat again? That will help you feel alive? That will help you keep from comparing?

Joel also asked….”Are you really alive?” Well, let me tell you something….with the news that very day about the passing of Luke Perry, I was, as so many of us were, reminded about living each day to the fullest. To be ALIVE. 

Let’s live as large, and as thankful as possible, as everyday is a gift. How grateful we must all be to be alive. Go out there and stay passionate. Do not compare yourself. AND, make YOUR heart beat again!

mad love all! mad, mad love!


RIP Luke Perry

7 Comments

  1. I LOVE this post in so many ways . . .

    We live in a society where there is constant pressure to be as good or better than someone else (social media has only made it worse, IMO). Last week, one of my students reached out to me after learning that one of her 8th grade students took their own life (OMG, 8th grade). It shook me and took me back to a darker time in my life. While I don’t know the entire back story that led up to this young woman’s death, there’s been hearsay about the pressure she felt to be “better”. As a society, we need to embrace each other’s (or our own) strengths and not their/our weaknesses. We need to teach our kids, at a very young age to love themselves and embrace what makes them unique. We need to wake up every day and go to bed every night knowing there was something, even a little thing, in our day to be thankful for.

    I think we’ve all struggle at one time or another with wanting to be as good as so and so. To be one of the cool kids. To be accepted for who we are. We should not feel pressured to fit into the mold of others.

    It took me 50 years to fully embrace who I am, to be comfortable in my own skin and my own abilities. To love myself. I was never one of the cool kids (and never will be). In all honestly, if conforming to someone else’s ideal is what it takes to be accepted, do you really want to be one of the cool kids? I often wonder if the “cool kids” feel lonely/loved . . . Do they feel free to be their own unique selves or are they expending so much energy on fitting in that they lose their sense of self and what makes them unique?

    We need to first love ourselves and model that behavior for the next generation. If we can’t show ourselves love, how can we expect to give or receive it from others. Every interaction with another being is an opportunity to help someone feel worthy, alive and loved.

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    1. Lynn! Thank you for always taking the time to write something so insightful. It is truly appreciated. How devastating about this young person who never got to realize their potential, and to see that the world is made up of all kinds of people. And, that there is a place for everyone. I am actually quite proud of never being a cool kid. I have always been a “hair” off. A little too dorky, naive, goofy, out of touch. You should be proud of your changes/growth and of your ability to pay goodness forward. Much love to that young woman and her family. My heart goes out to them, and may she rest easy.

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  2. Girl! You’ve got me sitting here crying like a baby! Your words and insight are so powerful. It makes so much sense why I love you and your man so much. The 2 of you mean so much to me! I’m so grateful that I stumbled across your post. Apparently, this was in God’s plan for me. God bless you and thank you for this inspirational message! XOXO

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  3. After reading this blog, I found myself crying as well. I’ve known my current partner since we were in college – we both have had relationships that def were not about love. I never knew what kind of a person he was truly was until recently… I guess we needed to go through 20yrs of crap to realize who we are and to appreciate each others company. I am so comfortable and at ease with him – He plans to move here once he is able to sell his house. I miss him so and look forward to seeing and spending time with him again.

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    1. Oh mama!!! How wonderfully exciting! It is true…sometimes we need to grow and mature before we are able to be open and ready for the REAL deal, even the real deal that has been in our face for years. Enjoy the ride. No pressure on you, him or you as a couple. Just flow and enjoy. These are glorious days! Can not wait to hear all about it!

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