I spend the majority of my investment helping people to live with an awakened and powerful heart. Unfortunately our busy and overloaded lives cause us to neglect the life of our spiritual hearts. We get so lost in “getting by” that we fail to keep in mind the most important aspect of life-the inner life of the heart. Quite often when people come to me for help, their heart is either deeply immersed in their personal woundedness or highly shut down emotionally. Both arenas can come as a result of neglecting the life of the heart.
But I don’ t want to overcomplicate it. Sometimes the most important things for our hearts are very simple, yet incredibly foundational. All it takes is a willingness to incorporate some healthy habits every day and you can cultivate a heart life that is conditioned to go the long haul.
Here are some simple habits you can implement to cultivate a spiritual heart that is awake and healthy. Practice them every day and you can be sure that over the long haul you will set yourself up for greater victory in life.
1. Feel I know we are not supposed to let our feelings run our lives, but we’ ve allowed this way of thinking to keep us from feeling at all. Over the years, too many believers downplay emotions as all evil, when we forget, we are designed to connect and experience from the heart. We are made to feel, not just compute.
So it’ s important that we allow ourselves to feel the gamut of emotions that we need to process for spiritual and emotional health. It’ s ok to rejoice and to mourn. It’ s healthy to grieve and to celebrate. Anger is not always evil. We need to process when we are upset. Take time every single day laugh and celebrate. Be open to crying or connecting to pain.
Stop shutting down, stuffing down or living an unemotional life. It’ s ok to feel. Your heart was made to connect and experience.
2. Let GoThere are many burdens and issues we carry in our hearts that we were not meant to carry. Every single day, we need to cast our cares upon God and enter into His rest. Casting your cares doesn’ t lead you into denial, it just releases the pressure of it all upon God’ s ability to work in our situations. Healthy people know how to release their cares, concerns and frustrations to God.
3. ForgiveSome of the healthiest people I know have cultivated the ability to forgive constantly. They don’ t allow resentment or being offended lay around too long. They keep toxicity out of their life because they know to not keep accounts on people and overlook offenses that rise up in relationships.
I am astounded that people who have walked with God for decades forget that we need to forgive people every single day. Our forgiveness muscles need to continually grow as we release and let go of hurt and offenses that come our way all day long. The more we hold on to those bitter roots, the more contamination will build up in our hearts.
4. Say ThanksI think it’ s the best practice in the world to let your first thought and last thought of the day be gratitude. If you cultivate a heart of gratitude, then your focus throughout the day will be on all that you have, not on what you do not have. Your thoughts will hover around what is awesome about your life, not allowing discontentment to steal your joy. Every single day and all day long, take frequent stops to express gratitude in all areas of your life.
5. Rehearse Who You Are and Where You Are HeadedEvery day, I spend time talking to myself. It’ s a habit I have cultivate for decades and in many ways it has preserved my sanity in the toughest of storms. Sometimes all you got is you and God. So you need to be able to leverage your words to comfort, encourage and strengthen yourself.
We need to declare out loud who God says that we are, otherwise we will spend most of the day serving who we are not. We also need to use our words to declare where we are headed.
There is so much pressure on people’ s hearts to go somewhere in life. We overwhelm ourselves with the need to achieve or manifest success, when in reality, life is a journey. You have each and every day to practice and rehearse who God says you are and where you are headed. Using our words every day to encourage and strengthen our identity and destiny can be the most fruitful daily habits for your heart.
6. Get StillMost of our stresses and times of overwhelm come out of the lack of peace in our hearts. It’ s important that every day, we set our compass for stillness; not just to pray, but to set the atmosphere in our hearts for peace. Stillness trains our hearts to lean into that peace all day long, so that we are not taken out by the busyness and pressure of modern living.
7. Face Your Fears and StretchEvery day you need to do something that moves you out of your comfort zone. Millions of people are looking for great breakthrough without being inconveniences or made to feel uncomfortable. There is no blessing in the comfort zone. No breakthrough lives in the world of comfort. Everything you are looking for is outside the boat. The water is waiting for you to walk on it. You just have to face your fear and step out there.
To exercise the muscles of your spiritual heart, you need to learn to be stretched, every day. The moment I realized that I will always be challenged, always be growing and always facing new challenges is the moment I hit a stronger place, because I open myself to new challenges continually.
Practice these habits every day and see what begins to change in your life. Your heart will thank you for it.
Source: Mark Dejesus