“Follow your heart.” We hear those words a lot. However, sometimes saying it and actually doing it are worlds apart.

Two years ago my dear husband, Steve Amos, passed away of a sudden heart attack. His death rocked my family’s world and shook us to the core. I can’t tell you how painful it was to watch my children lose their daddy. The tears, the anger and the fear were consuming. In spite of our grief, as a spiritual coach, I knew that it was Steve’s time to go. I knew that there had to be a gift in his passing. I didn’t know what it was, nor how it would come to be, but knew without a doubt that we were on a whole new journey.

Steve and I played the typical family roles. He was the main provider and, in spite of the fact that I was a spiritual coach, my focus was on being a nurturing wife and mother. He used to say to me, “You are the grounding cord for this family.” But when he passed, I had to make a choice to uproot that grounding cord or allow it to grow by stepping into a whole new role. Suddenly I found myself facing business decisions, negotiating deals, and wading through a probate that my lawyer described as a “rat’s nest.” Never in all my years would I have imagined that I would play the role of a single mom and a widow at the very young age of 45. Through it all, the gift of Steve’s passing was revealed: I became rooted in the truth that no matter what showed up in my life, I had to allow my heart to be my guide.

The biggest test came when a new man walked into my life. Society says that the “proper” mourning time is a year upon losing a spouse. My heart had a different timing. Charlie was an acquaintance who came to support me immediately upon Steve’s passing. He was a widow and a single dad. I’ll never forget the day he walked into my office, just a few months after Steve’s passing, and I literally felt my heart vibrating. As I meditated on this physical sensation, I was told to allow my heart to be open to this new man.

It’s one thing to hear your heart’s guidance. It’s another when society tells you that your actions are wrong. My ego continually found reasons to run for the hills far away from Charlie. The biggest one was a fear of losing my kids. They were angry and I didn’t want to lose their love. After all, I had already lost one family member. How could I take the chance of losing another? That’s what my ego said to me. But my heart was calling. It continually pulled me towards Charlie.

Thankfully, I have been walking this path of the heart for many years. I’ve seen that as you listen to its guidance, you connect to God. After all, your heart is God speaking to you. I made a choice a long time ago to allow God to be my guide. I’ve seen over and over the miracles that can happen if you trust your heart’s guidance. So that’s what I did. I made a choice to listen and act upon the guidance. It wasn’t easy. There were moments when guilt nearly swallowed me whole. But in the end, as always, a miracle occurred.

Charlie and I were married last July. What a gift from the universe! We’ve blended our two families, and imagine this, we have three teenaged girls, ages 15, 16, and 17, all living in the same home! When I tell people this, they tend to role their eyes. But, thankfully, our home is a happy one.

What I know for sure is that your children, your spouse, your friends, or just plain old society will mirror the judgments you have on yourself. My kids were angry with me. They reflected the judgment that sat deep within me. I continually loved them and acknowledged their pain and fear, but instead of shutting my heart down to Charlie just to please them, I saw their anger as a gift. I let it guide me deep within to get a good look at my own fears and the societal programming that made me feel so guilty. As I released those false beliefs about the proper mourning time and instead listened to my heart, my guilt slipped away and so did my girls’ anger. As I healed, they healed. No longer did they need to be a mirror to my inner pain. My girls saw me follow my heart and create true happiness and peace, in spite of our loss. By standing in my truth with love and compassion, I gave them an opportunity to face their fears and pain. As a result, they opened their hearts and healed, and evolved into wise and compassionate young women. I haven’t seen them this happy in a very long time.

Follow your heart. So often we won’t act on that message for fear of losing someone’s love. But the greatest gift you can give another is to listen to your heart. Your loved ones may resist the changes at first, just like my kids did. They may fight you and tell you that you’re wrong. See their resistance as a gift and an opportunity to look within. Know that as you follow your heart, you give the people around you an opportunity to grow and evolve. What a precious gift!

Author's Bio: 

Terri Amos-Britt is the author of "Message Sent" and her recently completed book, "The Enlightened Mom," as well as co-author of the bestseller, "Wake Up Women." As a spiritual coach and motivational speaker, Terri shares her experiences as a wife, mom, step-mom, former Miss USA and television host, inspiring others to release the emotional chaos in their lives, creating lives of passion, purpose and love. Terri is the co-founder of the Enlightened Family Institute with her husband, Charlie Britt. Their mission is to bring hope and healing to individuals and families all over the world. For more information, please go to www.EnlightenedFamilyInstitute.com.