The popular phrase “heart-centered” contains at least two distinct meanings.
It can mean electing love and compassion as the guiding principles of your life. Or it can mean living in alignment with your “true” self – your values, your calling, your experiential wisdom, your intelligence, intuition, and instinct, and the messages you receive from your body.
Both forces can comfortably abide within the same person, but that doesn’t mean they always do. Being true to yourself doesn’t automatically encompass living from love and compassion. It can simply be a narrow focus on the self and an attempt to secure your own good life.
At the same time, as we begin to uncover our true self, often a sense of love and compassion naturally arises for others. When we see how we’re bound up in all sorts of false ideas about our self, ones that consistently cause us to hurt, we can’t help but realize it’s the same for others as well. We’ll naturally want freedom from this insanity for others as much as for our self.
In this piece, I’m using “heart-centered” to mean being true to yourself.