Images credit - Avatar: The Last Airbender - Nickelodeon
Throughout the Avatar series, we see that Aang is a gentle spirit, with power. He does not want to be the Avatar, but surrenders to his destiny. He seeks guidance from various sources and is given help from those who serve as wisdom guides along the way.
In the four-part closing chapter, Aang struggles with the advice he is given. He knows he must face the Firelord, now Phoenix King, and defeat him. He is told repeatedly that he must end Firelord Ozai's life. But the advice, even from his own past lives as Avatar, goes against what he feels in his heart. This leads into the article below.
5 Reasons To Follow Your Heart
by Nicola Jane Hobbs
This year, my one resolution was:
“Less ego. More heart.”
I’m a recovering perfectionist and have spent the majority of my life living from my head. At school I would be disappointed with an A grade if an A+ was possible. I would beat myself up over not making a sports team or not getting the job I applied for. I would run myself into the ground performing, pleasing, perfecting and attempting to prove myself to a world full of "shoulds" and "musts" and "ought tos."
And then I had my early life crisis, my breakdown, my spiritual awakening, which forced me to realize there was more to life than striving, achieving, and hustling for worthiness.
One of the most powerful ways to tame your ego and overcome the voice in your head that says, "I’m not enough," is to listen to your heart instead. In your heart, you are not your work, your high school trophies, your bank balance, or your car. When you listen to you heart, you don't become preoccupied with success and status, materialism and jealousy, or power and pride. And when you follow your heart, you find your peace, you ignite your passion, and you discover your purpose.
Here are five reasons to follow your heart:
1. To connect
The ego often gets in the way of true connections with other people. It is our ego that gets in the way of our saying the important things, like, "I’m sorry," "I miss you," "I love you." So when we let go of our ego, let people into our hearts, and begin to share our vulnerabilities, our fears, our authentic selves, we create space for others to do the same. When we embrace our flaws and imperfections, we realize that we aren't alone, and we begin to connect on a level that is impossible to feel just with our eyes, or ears, or ego. We connect on a level that we must feel it with our hearts.
2. To find our true path
The heart has reasons that reason cannot understand. It has reasons that the mind cannot understand. And it has reasons that society, friends, and even ourselves cannot fully understand. But if we don’t follow our hearts, we will often spend the rest of our lives wishing that we did. Our passions — those moments, experiences, and people that feed our soul and make our hearts beat, don’t just go away if we don’t follow them. They fester and eat away at our worthiness. Follow your passions, find your true path, then follow it with all your heart.
3. To allow yourself to heal
Hurt happens. But so does healing. You can't always think your way out of pain and confusion. Sometimes, the best answers come to a relaxed mind and a heart that's in tune with the universe. We often don’t tune in to our hearts because that's where our pain is stored. But when we're brave enough to live life from our heart, not only do we allow our own wounds to heal, but, by sharing our stories, we can touch and heal people’s souls.
4. To love oneself
To love ourselves is totally different from massaging our own ego. Ego judges and punishes. Love forgives and heals. Your ego will tell you you’re not enough. Your heart will tell you you’re more than enough. By following our heart and loving ourselves through the ups and downs of life, we learn that we are worthy of love and deserve to feel loved. Without being able to love yourself, it is very difficult to share that love with anyone else. Self-love is not optional. It’s a necessity. 5. To love others
My one rule when it comes to love is that you should never settle for less than a heart flutter. When your ego is in control and all you’re assessing in a partner is looks, financial security, and social status, you miss out on the energy that can only be felt between two souls at the level of the heart. If, in the past, we have been in a rough relationship or through a bad breakup, then we often close our hearts off for fear of being hurt. It takes courage to let your guard down and truly follow your heart. Live with an open heart because you never know who might fall in it.