A part of why “just listen to your heart” doesn’t work is because people tend to get their minds mixed up with what their heart and soul is actually telling them.
The mind and the ego both for all its time in existence has tried to mimic the heart and the soul. The more that is found out about emotions and spirituality and things like that, the mind and ego will create a rigid pattern so that they can follow. This is because we still adhere to certainty, we still want a guide to present to us our vulnerabilities and moralities.
“Listening to your heart” only works when you get to know how your body works and what it communicates to you. If your body is rooted, it will naturally give rise to the heart’s song. The mind can go round and round in circles for years before ever touching a toe into the heart’s pond.
Don’t get me wrong, the mind and the ego has done wonderful things. They are builders and they can direct. But what is necessary when all the building has reached its limits is to surrender and learn how to quiet and fade into the background – something it doesn’t know how to do very well without feeling threatened. But you can utilize both to direct yourself into more and more quietude.
To know how to listen to your body and be with it is to be in touch with your own authenticity again. The mind can take whatever hint it gets from authenticity and turn it around somehow, make a caricature of it, and hold on to definitives to exist, to have some defense over its choices. It can very much slip into a movie scenario of what true emotions can look and it can drop into an egoic representation of what the heart desires.
It’s a delicate balance to reach to not try and think your way through feelings or even to try and feel them, but just to let them. Let them. Let feelings.
And don’t look up to see if you’ve felt them. Just stay under the current. In your body. And be aware of your own bullshit.