Friday, March 4, 2011

Head games and Heart Wars

I was talking with my sister the other day about dating and after admitting frustration in her own dating habits she said, “too bad dating is one of those things you don’t follow your brain with.”  We’ve all heard this dilemma so many times, thinking with your head verses listening to your heart.  Unfortunately though, I believe we’ve mistaken the two.  People are too quick to tell us to be rational, use our heads to do what's best.  More often than not, our poor little heart gets a bad rep (as if it makes the bad decision!)  I felt there was something wrong with this picture, so I began to investigate. When I look back at my mistakes, I believe it was my mind playing old tricks with me.  My heart was right all along.

Let’s think about this together.  What sort of conversations do you have with your mind?  If you are anything like me, my mind is not always kind and levelheaded.  It’s been known to say such things like: I am not good enough, I can't do that, I could lose more weight, etc.  On the other hand, it likes to ignite my ego with things like jealousy, doubt, fear, pride, and narcissism.   While my mind is one of my best friends, a true thinker, often it’s when I allow my mind free range that I think too much and get myself in trouble.  There have been opportunities that my heart craved, that my mind convinced me would be too difficult to pull off.

Starting with the Yoga Sutra's yamas and niyamas, I hope to find where this comes from. I hoard thoughts of my past, both good and bad.  They exist as what has been or what could have been, torturing me into not seeing clearly the current moment.  Like pictures on the wall, my mind has a way of not letting go.  In yoga, this is discouraged in the yama, 
Aparigraha and basically means to practice non-possessiveness. This is a yama I have to work on continuously.  Its safe to say I am not alone, we all have that one thought or image from our past that we are not ready to let go.  It could be something someone said to us, something that happened to us, etc.  In relationships, I hear people say the words, "it was perfect back then," "it was the best time of my life," OR "I will never move on."  They are attachments to the past.  As my favorite literary character Albus Dumbedore said, "It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live."

The mind is an amazing thing and I truly believe our thoughts possess unimaginable power.  We can use our minds for progressive thinking and discover amazing things.  So, why do we let our minds stiffle us in relationships, our aspirations, our future?

I don't know.  I mean, I sometimes find myself making the same mistakes, being reminded of the same things, knowing all along that I had learned this once before.  Take the example of your First Love.  Oh, what bliss!  For most people, this relationship dragged on for much longer than it should.  We often blame it on the heart.  Damn my heart for loving them too much to let go.  But was it really your heart?  How many times did you physically ache from the agony of the break-up?  How many times did you replay every moment of the relationship, the words, the kisses, the fights, over and over again?  I can bet for most of us the physical ditress went away faster than our mental distress.  In fact in some cases, our mind is jealous that the heart recovered so quickly that we hurt our bodies in other ways.

See?  The heart knows whats best for us and we ignore it to wallow in agony.  That's just dumb!  Why don't we just tell our mind to shhh up and focus on something more worthwhile.

As I am learning to listen to my heart more and letting the thoughts I hoard in my mind go, I find myself much more fulfilled in my relationships and beyond.  The mind loves drama, but the heart loves consistency.  Like its constant beating, the heart is quietly telling us to love this moment, then move onto the next.  Without attachment, we can love what we have now and perhaps see what we need.

The heart will tell you when to move on far before the mind, so try and find that inner beat and follow it.  See whose decision making skills you like better.

No comments:

Post a Comment