Appreciation of the Heart – Where Has it Gone?


Pismo at Sunset

Story & Photo


Elizabeth Vierra Hall


Today’s world has destroyed humanity’s view of the pure & kindhearted, empathetic people of our time.  A person with a true, good and empathetic heart used to be admired, appreciated cherished and respected.  I don’t mean the one-time hero’s, the feel-good stories in the news or the average nice person.  I’m talking about the people who have that heart (and mind) that is mistakenly different than most. They have not just sympathy but empathy, empathy like no other.  You may not recognize them off the bat because they tend to be more on the quiet side, lost in the rat race that has become the norm in today’s society. They are most often looked at as ignorant of today’s world and not taken seriously as intelligent people – lacking knowledge of “reality”.  They are over-looked and basically moved out of the way; pushed aside as not having valid contributions to our social order.  How sad. The once admired is now replaced with ridicule which can lead to the paralyzation of the loving heart of ever wanting to put themselves “out there” again.

We’ve gone from a civilization of being mentored by the loving, empathetic heart to one of keeping our guard up to protect ourselves from our changing society.  We’ve turned our thoughts from valuing love and honor of good people to protecting ourselves, our rights; operating in defense mode.  And while there is nothing wrong with looking ahead and planning for safety, we cannot live our lives in a heightened sense of suspicion and panic. This type of thinking is fed by the constant negative thoughts, beliefs and fears brought on by others who are not centering themselves with a healthy balance of reality and common sense.

Our world now is so hell-bent on proving their points and opinions that they’ve not even considered the feelings of those around them; their support system.  What a shame.  I don’t understand how the good hearts can just be dismissed – thrown away – like that.  It’s as if we are a planet of robots – no heart, no love; just machines with a constant ax to grind; a fight to have, something to protest.

I believe wholeheartedly that every person on earth needs to get in touch with their heart, not to be confused with their mind and all the crazy rhetoric they are consuming as truth – modifying them even more into something they are not.  Stop that routine way of thinking!  What are they afraid of?  If you cannot allow your heart to feel the love and peace it was created for, then how can you give love to your families?  Do you treat your families and friends with contempt and sarcasm at every conversation?  Can you actually have a heart-to-heart discussion if the situation called for one?  Or is everything a joke to you?  Do you operate on defense mode all the time blocking yourself to be open to what’s really being said?  With behavior like that, how can you positively contribute to society? How can you appreciate all the great things life has to offer?  You can’t, because you’re focus is on being #1 and right all the time, or for some, trying to turn every serious statement into a joke.  If everyone remained in a fight in their minds 24/7, how lonely and lost would they become?  It is certain decay of the human spirit, and therein our world. Our human spirits are slowly being squelched to the point of death, making us individuals who are imprisoned in our society by society.

Have you ever expressed your heart in conversation only to be laughed at, put down and criticized?  What’s happening here? How can the other person interpret it as anything less than a meaningful heart expression?  What fresh hell has their upbringing been like, or lack of, that they cannot recognize and receive the opportunity to be changed for the better?  What are they afraid of?  What makes them think this way?  It could be anything from lack of education or mentor-ship, living in the confines of a smaller community, or, they may just be selfish.  I find the later two to be true in most cases.

So the question remains for some, “How do I even begin to get back to heart living?”  Well, just as we are all created differently, the answers will vary.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

  1. First and foremost, you must make some quiet time for yourself.  You cannot learn anything about yourself with all the noise of the world around you; those are all distractions keeping you from your own growth.
  2. Limit yourself (or completely cut yourself off) from sources of negativity – negative people, movies, television, social media that have no positive influences.  You many even need to limit how much news you consume on a daily.
  3. Take a break daily even if it’s 10 minutes to relax, especially before you begin your work day.  Maybe enjoy a cup of coffee slowly while reading something inspirational.  Maybe it’s just looking out a window at the nature you are surrounded by.
  4. A good way to get in touch with your heart is to listen to someone’s story who has been less fortunate then you.  That’s a great way to appreciate and be grateful for where you’re at.  Certain television shows have a segment where the contestants tell “their stories” and can move you to tears, unless you are already a complete robot.
  5. Journal your true feelings.  You may actually discover a part of you that you never realized.
  6. Do volunteer work.
  7. Go out in nature and really observe it.  Walk, hike or just sit in the stillness and breath it all in with your eyes.  Yes, I said eyes.
  8. Be mindful of your actions and live in the moment.  Try not to stress out about what lies ahead.  Don’t spend your life living in or worried about the future, there’s nothing happening there yet.


Life is not a race.  It’s meant to enjoy, share, love and do well to/for others.  Live your life in the moment.  Don’t hop on the crazy train to tomorrow.  Getting back to that which we were created for is not just to be a nicer person to others, but for your own health because believe me, if you continue on the clueless path of sarcasm, ridicule, mind-fighting and pea-cocking your way through your existence, you will put yourself in a debilitating, mind-numbing, crippling state that will eventually paralyze your mind and spirit – an early death of the heart.

You have been given one life to enjoy and live. It’s your life.  Don’t hand it over to the time sucks, jokesters and negative people who don’t even know where they’re going.  They’ve got their own battles to contend with. Instead of asking someone if you could “pick their brain” when wanting some advice, how about “pick their heart”.  I think you’d be amazed at what you could learn.