Articles

I Don’t Need Your Issues…I Have Plenty of My Own

cancel“Those who live from the mind shed few tears. I wonder if that isn’t the real reason they choose to hide there.”
John Eldredge in Waking the Dead

There is a connection between what we really want and what we say we want. On some occasions, our deepest desires may be considered socially unacceptable (at least in our eyes) so we squelch them. Or we deny they exist. Other times, we choose to follow our heart’s longings wherever they might lead us, and then defend our choices.

Both scenarios leave something to be desired. All too often, there is a disconnect between our mind (how we mentally process making a decision) and our heart (the seat of our emotions/feelings/yearnings).

Whenever we place one above the other (mind versus heart), we risk not grasping the whole picture. Likewise, when either our thoughts or our emotions take such a prominent position so as to negate the other, lopsided, unbalanced, and frequently shortsighted decisions are made. We need to respect and consider both aspects of our person as complimentary. There is space for logically assessing a given situation and making appropriate responses. As there is room for simultaneously entering into the feelings of the same. Allowing ourselves to experience the emotional gamut of joy, pain, celebration, disappointment is a good and necessary thing.

A look at the process…

So why do we opt for or against a particular decision? Some would say individuals act solely to insure self-preservation, personal advancement, or to gratify their bodily desires. This premise is incomplete at best.

Decision-making goes deeper. Each of us is capable of processing even the most basic option almost unconsciously. Why? Because we are a compilation of our experiences, upbringing, education, beliefs and values. We frequently choose without a “second” thought. Still, acting and moving ahead, without proper mental consideration, is dangerous. As is refusing to engage a situation with one’s heart, growing aloof, without any care for the suffering or needs of others. This heart disconnect is just as lethal, maybe more so, than mistaken judgment.

It is when individuals separate themselves emotionally from the effects their choices have on others that real harm is done. Yes, it takes courage and resilience to choose to engage the heart and the mind. Choosing to enter in emotionally will hurt; other times it will be a gift.

When viewed as an integral process, the thinking of the mind paired with the feelings of the heart, we are more able to make discerning, wise choices that promote balance, goodwill, and other-oriented, consistent results. Joined together, equally regarded, the mind and the heart become an unbeatable combination.

As author John Eldredge observes, “A person’s character is determined by his motives, and motive is always a matter of the heart.”

Don’t neglect either one; think with your head and your heart.

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