Life distracts us with so many things. There is food, good times, parties, alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, good things as well as not so good things. Balance is the key to moderation, but balance and moderation are not what we are being advised against here.
We need to be careful about listening to our heart because our heart can turn traitor. The heart can be fickle, as if it is attention deficit from time to time, desiring and craving the very things that can hurt us. Without monitoring our hearts, we can get addicted to life and everything in it, good and not so good for our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health. When we misguidedly substitute people, places and things in place of balance in our life, we will find ourselves out of order.
Think of what it takes for us to face ourselves, honestly.
We know how human beings are prone to trapping each other: lying, cheating, stealing, manipulating, being addicted to drama and worry after worry, abusive and addictive behavior, and giving false witness and false testimony. Not only do others do these things to us, we also can be our own worst enemy.
We need to forgive, both others and ourselves. Before we can forgive others, we need to be honest with ourselves, and own up to what we have done and what we have failed to do. If we are still breathing air, we still have time to forgive others and ourselves. That is the hardest part. As hard as we might find it to forgive others, some of us find it nearly impossible to forgive ourselves, as if we were created perfect to begin with.
None of us are perfect. We are human. We will make horrible mistakes. Tomorrow we will make more. The key to being honest with ourselves is to recognize that we are not perfect, admit our mistakes, and forgive ourselves, and oh yes, forgive others too.
Not only are we not perfect, but so often we tend to think others are not allowed to make mistakes either. We justify our feelings by not forgiving them in some warped sense of justice.
What will help?
If we live a more fully conscious life, aware of our thoughts, words and actions, it will be easier and more natural to pay closer attention to our hearts.