Friday, October 10, 2008

The Shift of Knowledge

Anatomically, the heart and the head are relatively nearby. Emotionally, and spiritually, they can be polar opposites. They also have very different perspectives on time. The head, for me, often wants it "right now" or "later - much later!" - the heart wishes for the timing to be "right", whenever that is.

It's interesting to me: There doesn't seem to be a clear formula for which will "get it" first, nor how long it will take the other to catch up. When I am grieving, my head is aware long before my heart that the pain won't last forever. At other times, my heart will say "this is over", and my head will struggle with the fact that plans C,D and E still haven't been implemented!

When there is a change that I need to put into effect into my life - diet, exercise, scheduling issues, it really doesn't matter what it is - it is MUCH more difficult to do so if both my head and my heart are not in agreement. I can often "will" it for a short time, but if my heart doesn't buy in, it falls apart. They're a team, and they need to work together...

If the heart and the head disagree, it is also much more difficult for me to speak it. For some reason, the throat and the voice tend to get stuck in the midst of the battle.

For a long time, I didn't recognize the head-heart conflict. I just knew that life was HARD and there seemed to be a constant argument inside me. One day, someone suggested I listen to both sides of the argument, and pay attention to what I felt when I did. Novel concept. I'd try it and see what happened. Couldn't be worse than eavesdropping on the whole conversation anyhow...

I listened. It took some practice, but what I found was, that when the truth was spoken - either by my heart or my head - there was stillness and peace within me. Anything but truth brought confusion and fear.

I extrapolated this into a decision-making process. If I didn't know what I should do, I got quiet, and listened to all options. The "right" decision was the one that brought peace. Now, believe me, I didn't always choose that one first. I had to try a few wrong decisions along the way. Then I began to trust, and listen for the peace - even if that option seemed far-fetched. If there was peace and stillness, it was "right" in the end. (And, as you might imagine, asking God to show me which was right, facilitated the process and deepened the peace.)

Spiritually, it's been the same thing. For a long time, I have had a very cognitive understanding of God. I could tell you what I'd been told, or what I'd learned. Sure, there had been some glimpses of heart-understanding, but mostly I was in my head with it. Then, one morning, I woke up and I was weeping with my heart-knowledge of the presence of God in my life. Many of the "I should...."s and obligatory service fell aside and were filled with more heart-felt initiatives. It was truly life changing. I could share from my heart.... from my experience.

My friend, Karen Tucker used to sign every email with the following quote:

"See with your heart not with your
eyes, for beauty lies everywhere.

The mind reasons, the heart knows."

How right she was... There are times when my head must lead - but my heart must remain connected. I want to see the beauty in the world and in others.

May I see through my heart... it *knows*

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