This quote rattled something in me the first time I heard it.
It was a disturbing, yet not uncomfortable feeling. Something I'd never experienced before.
In those ten words, the challenge issued was (and is) greater than any team of reality-television writers could come up with. Greater than any physical obstacle or any journey to climb a financial ladder. The reward, too, transcends those of other challenges - for it, there is no equivalent.
To imagine - and even more so live - completely following one's heart is unheard of. It's bold. Crazy. Revolutionary. It sure as anything isn't easy. Because before even thinking about mustering up the courage to follow your heart, you must have courage to free it. Free it from worry and fear and doubt. From the unknown of the future and from past regrets. From outside expectation and from old wounds.
And the quest to freedom takes lots of digging down far, to the bottoms of pits where the root of hurt lies. It takes uprooting and letting go. For only when a heart is free from the binds holding it down can healing and renewal begin - by claiming freedom...hope...the ability to soar...love...joy...and peace. Because when these things are claimed, they come in and fill the holes left from times of boundaries and captivity, tenderly filling the void.
So it's then, when a heart is freed, that courage is found and life begins. A new, full life that is spent chasing dreams with reckless abandon...whole-heartedly.
(Note: This painting is actually one that I just finished. It's my first (but certainly not last) try with oil paints and a knife.)