Defining Wholehearted

Living wholeheartedly seems daunting. I sometimes mistake the word “wholehearted” for words like perfect, flawless, and successful; and at times I have a “do everything the best I can with all I got” attitude because that is what I minimize living wholeheartedly to be.

All of these are lies and truly downplay what wholeheartedness is.

Brene Brown’s definition of “Wholehearted” is, “a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness” and it means “cultivating the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up and think ‘I’m enough, what I get done today is enough and although I’m imperfect, I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.’”

When I read and remember her definition, my definitions seem really harsh and not grace-filled at all.

It’s taken years of trial and error and reading and learning and practicing wholehearted living. It has looked different in each season and during different times of my life. Sometimes it has involved going on a run everyday and other times it required me to sleep more and rest. I eat differently during some seasons, usually pretty balanced, but I’ve eaten a vegan diet, done the Whole30, or eaten just for pleasure. In some seasons it has taken more courage for me to say no to certain things, and other times it was exciting for me to say yes to learning more about how I thrive because of the worthiness I possess.

Different seasons bring different things, that is how God designed it. But in all and every season, there are things that remain true.

Living wholeheartedly does not mean continuously striving and it does not consist of draining your strength and emotions. It involves being mindful of how you interact with the world and the beautiful people who are also living in this world with you. It involves rest and nourishing your body. It involves times of leisure and playfulness knowing you worked hard and are proud of what you accomplished.

It is the means of exploring and learning more about yourself and what makes you thrive and laugh and cry. It involves eating whole and healthy foods; it is comprised of fun relationships and exciting adventures.

Living wholeheartedly also humbles our hearts and makes still our minds, knowing we can’t actually do it all, have it all, and know it all. It’s an attitude towards grace and understanding that we can ask for help when we need it and accept the fact that we are still broken and will never have it all figured out.

Living wholeheartedly requires both courage and humility, endurance and rest. We need times of triumph and times of failure, times of celebration and times of mourning. We’re human and we need to experience all human emotion to live wholly.

Living wholeheartedly is a wild, beautiful, daring adventure. What would it look like for you to courageously “engage the world from a place of worthiness” and take a step towards living wholeheartedly?

I’m asking myself that question too. Living wholeheartedly has been a journey, it’s the path I’m constantly on, the race I’m currently & will forever be running. My definitions of what it means and looks like to live a wholehearted life are slowly fading and a new definition is rising – it’s filled with grace, sweetness, and beauty.

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