Treasures of your heart.

1254860_heart_flowersWhat are the treasures of your heart? Where can they be found?

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~ Thornton Wilder

Wealth, possessions, success are all things that we can desire but they don’t guarantee peace of mind or happiness. Of course they help to make our daily existence enjoyable and can provide purpose and incentive, but it’s possible to be affluent and acclaimed yet still not be satisfied with life. I believe that’s because happiness has very little to do with what we have on the outside and everything to do with who we are on the inside.

My childhood experiences of abandonment and abuse had been the cause of long-term depression and alcoholism. I spent years believing that a successful career, being financially secure and having expensive possessions could fill the void in my life. But nothing was ever going to replace the love I should have had as a child.

When I hit rock-bottom and lost everything I felt like my life had ended and should be ended. My heart was like stone and there were no treasures to be found  in my existence.

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” Lao Tzu

As I have journeyed in recovery, I have learnt to replace the ‘hurt healers’ of alcohol and depression with the ‘hurt healers’ of life – simplicity, patience, compassion, trust, acceptance, forgiveness, hope. These riches I have found through a faith that teaches love. A love that provides an abundance of comfort, healing and power.

I used the experiences of my past as the foundation for my future. Through adversity and hard times I can now appreciate the prosperity and good times. Through abandonment and loss I can cherish and nurture my family and friends. And it is by coming through such depths of darkness yesterday that the light shines so brightly today.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Anyone who has been through a personal tragedy or is going through a time of adversity knows that when difficulties arise priorities change. The things you may have held in high esteem before, matter less. The day-to-day issues you have stressed over, become insignificant. Life takes on a new meaning.

Emotional healing demands that you turn away from what you don’t have to focus on what you do have. Losing a loved one means letting go of what you had in the physical, but holding tight to the memories that will last you a lifetime. Suffering with an illness means accepting the disease and looking after the rest of your health. Difficulties in a relationship means focusing on the good aspects whilst managing the bad.

Whatever you are dealing with, it can be tough. Yet you will be able to manage your situation so much easier if you have a strong heart. And your heart will be as strong as the treasures it holds within.

1256162_heartsIf your heart is weak, you will lack the strength you need to rebuild your mind, body and soul. If your heart is empty, you will lack the passion you need to pursue your dreams. If your heart is broken you will find it difficult to love and be loved. But a strong, complete and treasure filled heart will help you find peace, hope and happiness.

So how is your heart today?

54 thoughts on “Treasures of your heart.

  1. Beautiful article Carolyn, so true in every word. It is good that our heart has unlimited capacity for compassion, love and kindness – if we give it a chance. Take care 🙂

  2. Carolyn,
    Thank you for this post. I know what you mean about priorities changing when adversity strikes for the longest time I thought I’d never be able to change, but that’s simply not true. I went through recover in 2011 – best decision I ever made. Of course it wasn’t easy, but that process allowed me to heal in places I didn’t even know needed healing. It paved the way for me to be able to deal directly and honestly with heart hurts. God has been most gracious to me in this area, and am I grateful for how He has lead me. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • Congratulations on your strength and courage to recover Marvia. And I can totally relate to your comment about healing in places that I didn’t know even needed healing 🙂

  3. Wow Carolyn, your strength and fortitude really shines in this article. And you are so right, with every challenge I’ve had in life, something that I held in high esteem somehow seems less important. It’s not that you want less out of life or want to live in survival mode, but somehow, your perspectives change and the things you may have given less prominence to take on greater importance and meaning … including family, relationships, health etc.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Thank you for sharing this article written form your heart. It was quite therapeutic reading this. The struggles we encounter are indeed building bridges for the future successes. I also believe that when we go through life changing situations in life, they are not only for us, but are lessons which equips us to support others who will go through such challenges in the future.
    It is the comfort we receive that allows us to comfort others.

    To your continued happiness.

  5. I feel like I’ve just been to a great heart doctor, who teaches me how to check my own heart health… by locating the treasures within. This is pure beauty, Carolyn!

    I’m thankful to read this quote, too:

    “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” Lao Tzu

    I’m so glad to have come here to your site, for it’s like sitting down with you and having a heart-to-heart talk! God bless you 🙂

  6. Much heart felt feelings in your article. One thing that stood out to me was when you talked about the experiences of the past being the foundation for the future. That is true and it is up to us to choose from the right experiences to have a fulfilled future of hope and happiness.

  7. Thank you Carolyn for sharing your heart. I feel very vulnerable today and I’m so glad I get to meet you on your blog, which I love. Thank you for being real and open. I have never been an alcoholic but lived with one for many years. We are still married and I owe my sanity to a 12 step program which kept me from going insane. I found God there and not in church. I love him and have been following Him the best I can for many years now. Thanks for being there for us Carolyn.

    • Wonderful to see you here Jeanne and thank you for sharing your story. Living with an alcoholic is incredibly emotionally challenging and draining, so your strength and courage in keeping your family together is inspirational.

  8. Such a great article, as usual, Carolyn! I have been finding God’s next journey for my life and am coming to realize that He’s expanded my borders. And you are right, you have to build up those treasures in your heart so on the bad days… because they do come… you will know the truth above all, which will help guide you through. Love your article!!

  9. What an inspirational post, we all go through different things at one or hte other time of our lives. A strong heart helps getting back up and accepting life as it is and make the best of it. Thank you

  10. My heart is doing okay today. I have struggled with feelings of emptiness for a while. After three suicide attempts and two years of therapy I am slowly getting to where I want to be. I really liked this post. Thank you for sharing it. I love the Tao Te Ching : D. It helped me a lot.

  11. Hi Carolyn,

    Always wonderful inspiration to be found here. My heart has been broken at different times during my life. I was broken with my daughter’s addiction and it has been broken through love a few times as well. My heart feels strong now and it is that strength that helps to carry me onward. Life feels good and I know when my heart is happy, I’m happy. Take care.

  12. Wonderful quote Carolyn, ““I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” Lao Tzu.
    When you have these 3 things you have love in your heart. Also having grown up with little I learned very young what is important and to really appreciate what you have. And love is the most important and the memories you build with the people you love.
    Very inspiring Carolyn as always. Share life with an open heart and the world is yours, even when it my hurt.

  13. I always come to your site for inspiration, peace, hope and healing, knowing I will find it. I loved this section of this post, “Anyone who has been through a personal tragedy or is going through a time of adversity knows that when difficulties arise priorities change. The things you may have held in high esteem before, matter less. The day-to-day issues you have stressed over, become insignificant. Life takes on a new meaning.

    Emotional healing demands that you turn away from what you don’t have to focus on what you do have. Losing a loved one means letting go of what you had in the physical, but holding tight to the memories that will last you a lifetime. Suffering with an illness means accepting the disease and looking after the rest of your health. Difficulties in a relationship means focusing on the good aspects whilst managing the bad.”

    And, of course your concluding thoughts. This is a beautiful post, Carolyn – I am so very fortunate to be able to share, learn and grow through your experience, strength and hope.

  14. Carolyn, I absolutely adore your honesty about your past & where you are now.
    You are like a prayer, and God is using you in HUGE beautiful ways.
    How is my heart? It HURTS …but the good thing is: I know God has a plan for my life without Kay.

    Xxx

  15. Most of my life I’ve been pretty happy, or at least content. It wasn’t because there was a whole lot of prosperity. I grew up with less that a lot of children have. As an adult, financial calmness has usually not been one of the things I’ve had an abundance of. I have found, in fact, that I seem to be happiest when the struggle is great. Through all of the hardships during my life, I have always known that someone loves me.

    • That is such a wonderful comfort to know that you are loved through the hard times as well as the good times Glynis. I love that you can be happy at times of struggle. It proves that you don’t let your circumstances dictate your feelings and that is a great way to live.

  16. My heart is full of love, hope, gratitude 🙂 And I believe the more I share it with others the more I will have. Thanks for this wonderful and inspiring post 🙂
    Lots of love & hugs XXX
    Be happy, Be inspired & be blessed 🙂

  17. What a beautiful, inspirational post, Carolyn. I loved this. It’s true about changing our priorities when we pass through something deep and leaves us with abrasions. But those abrasions and wounds heal and scar and we live from those scars, shifting our perspective and looking to what is important, rather than what seems important. We can’t appreciate sunny days without rainy days, as they say, so it is like you said – “Through adversity and hard times I can now appreciate the prosperity and good times. ” And that is certainly my own experience. The things that I held in high esteem now don’t even make the list any more. How could they? And that is when I know change has been made, and change comes from the inside out. Heart to mind, soul to skin. I keep my heart full by working with others, helping others, encouraging others. And my heart gets stronger, and wider and able to take more in.

    That is my aim. Thank you for a lovely and thought provoking post 🙂

    Paul

    • And thank you Paul for contributing so much with your insightful and genuine comments. You have walked the walked and are such an inspiration to others. You are so right that those things that used to be priorities don’t even get rated any more. There is such freedom in that statement!
      Blessing to you 🙂

  18. This is a beautiful blog Carolyn and one filled with your courage and conviction for love and life. Your words help us remember to keep on, keeping on – even if it is for one hour or one minute at a time. For if we don’t let go, soon we’ll have a complete day of courage and conviction for love and life.

    • Thank you so much for your kind comments. I love how you are reminded to keep on, keeping on whether it is for a minute or an hour. For as you say, as long as we don’t let go we will have the promise of a greater and lasting love.

  19. You have written many words of wisdom; they are insiring. Many of us have experienced difficult challenges in life. We mustn’t give up even during the darkest hours. When there is hope there is light.

  20. I’m new to your blog… I love how you write and the overall message. It can be so hard to toward that which is uncomfortable and yet we need to do so in order to experience it, move past it and walk out the other side, knowing we are still okay.

  21. My heart has been broken recently and it’s true – “it’s difficult to love and to be loved.” On the other hand, when all seems the darkest I find that one more day and on more day after that proves that my heart is full of enough beauty and strength that peeks through and not only sustains me, but helps me to see new paths of light and hope.
    It’s a scary thought to me that some people have ben so hurt and abused in their lives that they can’t feel anything in their hearts – I’m developing compassion for people in those situations. What a difficult way to live.
    Thank you, Carolyn. I loved this post!

    • Thank you for sharing your heartbreak Betsy. So many will be able to relate and also be inspired by your strength and hope. Keep on looking to the light Betsy and I wish you much love and happiness for you in your life. xo

What do you think? I'd love you to share!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s