Everyone knows that there are particular things to protect yourself from. For example, it wouldn’t be smart to walk in an unlit area at night because that’s where the criminals lurk. Therefore, you should guard yourself from those situations.
It is also common knowledge to guard your personal information from floating around the internet. With all the hackers and scammers that we often hear about, we should be much more cautious of how and where we are giving away our credit card information.
When it comes to protecting your heart, the same sentiment is true: We must guard our hearts from those feelings or emotions that take us down disheartening paths (yes, pun intended!)
Failure to guard our heart puts our overall well-being at risk and threatens our ability to thrive. In fact, guarding our heart should be on the top of our priority list – just like protecting ourselves from harm.
Think about it: When you feel hurt or sad, how does that impact your day? How does it affect your sleep?
When you are fearful, how much of your concentration does it interrupt? How does it lead you to act differently?
Awareness that you must guard your heart is the beginning of a more balanced and controlled life. That awareness empowers you to thwart any attacks that could potentially harm you.
Take a look at four of the most dangerous emotions that pose a threat to your well-being. Remind yourself of these truths often so that you can use the awareness as a shield of armor.
- Guard your heart from “right now” emotions. Some people call this impulsive emotions, but it goes deeper than that. What emotions are you grabbing hold of to satisfy a need? For example, if you spend time with someone to fill the immediate need of wanting to just have someone around, this leads to unnecessary emotions or attachments that you probably never intended to have. Prevent the drama by turning down what you don’t want to deal with long-term.
- Guard your heart from being hurt by criticism. One thing I had to learn the hard way is that we must be wise enough to filter criticism from others. People will be quick to tell you exactly how they feel and not consider the lingering effect it could have on your confidence or self-esteem. So, rather than allowing yourself to take it ALL in, filter it the way we filter water. Intentionally remove what doesn’t apply. Those inapplicable opinions come with a different motive.
- Guard your heart from pride. There’s a difference in feeling proud of something and feeling prideful. The latter is a feeling that something is owed to you or deserved and is really dangerous to your character because it’s deceitful. In all my years of living and breathing on this earth, I’ve never seen pride have a positive end result; rather, it leads people down a path of self-righteous disappointment every time.
- Guard your heart from longing for what’s already gone. This is the age-old principle of letting go and moving on. While it’s easier said than done, it is incredibly important for us to move our hearts away from what we cannot change. Whether longing for an ended relationship, a deceased loved one, or a missed job opportunity – the sooner we can let go, the sooner we can be set free from that bondage.
Now it’s your turn. What things have you had to guard your heart from? Maybe it’s something you’re working through now or even very recently. I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to post it in the comments.