Saturday, January 29, 2011

Head or Heart?

I suspect that we all carry a bias about whether it's best to consult your head or your heart when making an important decision. If you tend to be a heart person and someone asks you for advice, you will probably tell them, "follow your heart." If you're more of a head person, your sage advice to them will be something like, "think it through carefully, weighing the pros and the cons." But the thing is, no one is all head and no heart or vice versa. When making decisions, both are a part of the mix. It's the way they tend to compete with each other that can throw us into a tizzy.

Most of us have difficulty making decisions from time to time. It’s especially tough when the head and the heart are in conflict. When that happens, we will usually struggle between following one or the other. But even if we do choose one over the other, the inner conflict doesn’t go away. If you decide to go with your head when your heart doesn’t agree, your heart won’t let go. You’ll continue to struggle, even though you may not realize it on a conscious level. Just because you have decided to go with your head or your heart, doesn’t mean that the inner conflict has ended. It goes underground and often resurfaces incognito.

With the polarities of our lives, we tend to think that we must choose either one way or the other, when the real solution is so often both/and. This is certainly true for head/heart conflicts. Either too much head or too much heart will get us into trouble. The solution to a head/heart dilemma is not to choose one over the other, but to use both to make good choices. Both the head and the heart are gifts God has given us for discernment.

Are you more of a head person or a heart person? It’s one of those things that it’s good to recognize in yourself if you want to avoid repeated heartaches or headaches in your life. If you tend to be a heart person, don’t neglect to use your brain. And if you’re head person, don’t forget your feelings. Oh, it sounds so simple, doesn't it? Of course it's not.

"Half our mistakes in life arise from feeling where we ought to think,
and thinking where we ought to feel."
- John Churton Collins

1 comment:

Peg said...

Nancy, I think this post gets to the heart of why your blog is always so good -- your posts are always well-reasoned, but they seem to be reasoned from the heart, if that makes sense. Love this. Thanks.