Head or heart?

My thoughts are pretty confused today, now I’m not sure if it’s because of my emotions, the amount of self reflection I’ve been doing or maybe it’s just the amount of red wine I drank last night (half a bottle is acceptable right?). But, I’ve come to the realisation, I seem to be blinded whenever my heart gets involved with anything I do. Feeling things is a lot different to thinking things, theres no time to process, no second thought, it often leads to adrenaline-fuelled, heart-thumping, crazy-person actions. Now I say crazy-person, because thats often how I feel, I don’t feel like myself when I feel something, I feel like this vulnerable, irrational, over the top crazy person who I don’t recognise. I tend to put all logic and rationale aside when I feel something and lead with my heart, blindly into the dark, and as you can probably imagine, this is usually ends in some kind of dramatic disaster (good stories though). The past week has been really confusing for me emotionally with a lot of the past resurfacing all at once (coincidence?). So with all this confusion I’ve been trying to think, can we really lead with our hearts over our heads? And if so, can we do it blind?

As kids we’re fed this rainbow coloured idea of how love should be, like a fairytale. That we (the women) are the damsels in distress just waiting for our “one true love” the Prince to come along and save us from our torturous lives. Well heres the reality of it, the only thing in “distressed” in my life these days is my hair in the morning, I’m not distressed, or in trouble, in fact I am quite self sufficient, I am educated, have a semi-stable income and in no way do I need a man to come and save me. To add to this reality, I don’t think “Princes” exist in the 21st century, in this day and age, your more likely to find a bunch of wart covered toads looking to connect with a tinder “damsel” with a good selfie arm as opposed to a real human connection. This is no fairytale we live in, women don’t want to be saved, and men don’t want to save them. So what the hell were those Disney movies trying to tell us? All the princesses gave into their first instinct and fell for the Prince, without even a second thought? No background check, no meeting the parents, no “lets get a dog first”? Is that really happily ever after?

Perhaps when it comes to feeling things, Disney weren’t that far off the mark, because when you feel something, you don’t think, you don’t have to, you just feel it. When you get a puppy, you don’t think about loving it, you just do. So maybe this is the problem, that we overthink how we feel. I never believed in all that fairytale love at first sight garbage, until I experienced it first hand. It was your classic, locking eyes from across the room, Drew Barrymore- Adam Sandler, rom-com style encounter. I knew it, it was the first time I’d felt like this, it was as if my heart was beating outside of my body, and without thinking I went with it. It’s hard to explain how it felt to be that open, and at the time, none of my friends could relate. But here’s the real catch 22, when you let the guards down, when you turn off the defensive force field, it becomes painful, the feeling becomes clamping on your chest, or so gut wrenching you could vomit. Because you didn’t have time to protect yourself from the pain, you didn’t even think about it.

Ok so this all sounds pretty dark and twisty (a little too Meredith Grey), but maybe this is why we settle for what we think is right, because we’ve thought it through and it doesn’t hurt as much. In my own friends, I have seen all scales of the spectrum, I have seen some of them run with their hearts and find that fairytale ending, and I’ve seen others who have been completely defeated by doing exactly this, myself included. There is no greater hurt than feeling something so great for someone who doesn’t feel the same back. When it doesn’t work out, we feel bare, and exposed, even weak. We’re in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and we’re survivors. We build the defence walls back up over time and employ double the guards, because God help us if we ever get this hurt again. We think that by protecting ourselves with a new triple strength force field we won’t ever have to feel that way again. But there we go again, thinking.

What we think is best for us isn’t always right. If you have to think about how you feel, then maybe it isn’t right in the first place. Feeling things is what makes us human, its what makes us feel alive! So before putting the guards back to work and inventing a whole new revolutionary protective force field, what is your heart telling you? Because maybe you need to feel that chest-clamping, gut-wrenching pain to know that its right and worth fighting for. We don’t put a lot of trust in our hearts, they’re fragile and weakened from all the pain we’ve endured. Anatomically, our heart is a strong muscle surrounded by vessels and supportive tissues, it is our most reliable organ, so really we should put more trust in our hearts. If we take away all the superficial trash we think about, and lead with our hearts, then maybe we’d have a better chance of finding the happily ever after. Maybe if we trust our hearts judgement, we would find clarity through all the haze of confusion. They say when you lose one sense, your others are heightened, so maybe we have to be blind in love, to really be able to listen to our hearts.

Live well. Think often (but not too much).

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