The head and the heart

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There is a balance to all things – or at least there should be.

I’ve spent much of my life trying to strike a balance.  It’s my personal quest to find balance in all areas of my life – so much so that I even tattooed my favorite symbol for balance on myself as a constant reminder.

And still I struggle.

My head and my heart are in a perpetual tug of war.  Ever so rarely, I get a glimpse of the perfect union of the two.  More commonly, I find myself rooted in my head and wondering why the hell I can’t feel anything anymore.

My head

My head, you see, is the part of me that the world likes.  My head is logical and practical.  She’s smart.  She can think through things step-by-step.  She is constantly pushing for the next thing to do.  She likes crossing things off of lists.  She is impressively productive and somewhat impatient. Corporate America loves my head.

My heart

My heart, on the other hand, can’t be bothered with to-dos.  She is whimsical and finds beauty in the mundane.  My heart feels everything and seeks inspiration.  She constantly wants to experience things. She accepts and observes and believes in providence and mercy and God.  Though my head holds the facts, my heart sees my Truth.  My heart brings me to love and joy and tears. My children love my heart.

I’m grateful for and need both parts of me. My head lets me think through finances and house projects and practical day-to-day living.  My head gets things done.  Well.  But my heart pushes me to connect with the people I love, to really see them.  My heart wants me to be at home in my own skin.  My heart wants me to see and experience beauty.

The struggle, then, is creating space for both parts of me to co-exist in balance.

My UnBalance

These days, I’m consumed by lists. By menial and important tasks.  By decisions.  By meetings to talk about lists and tasks and decisions.  My head tells me that I’ll feel better when I get all this stuff done.  But my head is only partially right.

The goal isn’t to be done.  My heart tells me this isn’t a race. She wants me to spend less time making lists and more time experiencing my day.  Less doing, more sensing. Brainstorming. Observing.  Creating. Both at work and at home.  She whispers that doing less in the now may mean I’m free to see the one thing that truly requires my attention…whatever that may be.

Spending too much time in my head is problematic because I get hyper-focused on details and results.  Tapping into my heart is difficult.  I’m comfortable in my head – I’m good at thinking.  But the outcome of living in my head too much is that I lose my connection to my body, my heart, my world.  And that’s a price I’m not willing to pay.

My head tells me that I am powerful and can do my way into feeling different.  My head is impatient and pushy.  She tells me that it shouldn’t take this long to get everyone in the damn car and this house is a mess!  She may be right – but my heart reminds me that having a clean house or children who can throw their shoes on quickly won’t make me happy.  What makes me happy is focusing on what’s important – the present moment.

My Balance

When I believe the solution- to anything – is me working harder, I’m living in my head.  I don’t need to work harder and I’m probably not the solution to my problems.  There are always greater forces at work – the answer is to be part of the solution.  Not to be the solution.

The good news is that I don’t have to do anything drastic to inject a little heart into my day.  I don’t have to quit my job and become a massage therapist, for example.  (I did that once.  True story.)  I can connect with both parts of me at any given moment.  It’s all about balance.

When I’m irritable and grumpy for no reason, I’m probably neglecting my heart.  I need to slow down. Stop focusing on tasks and start focusing on people.  Look into their eyes.  See them.  Listen. Breathe.

And then – only then – will I remember that both my head and my heart want me to be happy.  And I need both of them to find the balance that brings me to peace, joy, and happiness.

 

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