My niece texted me a poem called My Brain And Heart Divorced by John Roedel. It was a clever take on how our thoughts (head) and desires (heart) can conflict and affect our physical health.
My sister is moving to Texas and needs to get out of a house she has called home for 35 years. It is challenging to downsize because she attaches sentimental value to most everything on shelves and in drawers—some she hasn’t seen or used in decades. She hangs onto things because they keep her connected to happy memories.
Whether positive or negative, if we ruminate about the past, it makes enjoying the present complex.
The other side of the conflict involves our head. My sister can logically admit she has space-consuming treasures, but the idea of trashing them or donating what she doesn’t love or use causes her heart to fight with her logic. They are her attachment to the past and possibly the best times of her life, The battlefield is within us.
I like Roedel’s use of the word divorce to describe the result of a fight between our head and heart—making it difficult for the two to live in the same body. The internal and eternal war can cause emotional and physical illness.
On the opposite end of this conversation are people who can purge things from the past because it doesn’t make logical sense to clutter the present with stuff or continually evaluate past adverse events. When logic and feelings don’t respect each other, communicate, and work together, the present and future can suffer.
If we don’t figure out how to have peace within our bodies, we get body-aches, stomachaches, headaches, and life in general-aches. As with any relationship, head and heart disputes can lead to irreconcilable differences—a major cause of divorce.
Our heads contribute to worry about the future, and our hearts do the same with worry about the past. The goal is to connect the two and hold hands while strolling into the future. One of life’s catastrophes is being miserable because we’re stuck in what is over and done. No matter how often we wash the dust off the souvenir from that fabulous vacation in 1989 or relive the painful and embarrassing event of a lost high school love, they are still gone—gone.
Many solutions to settling the fight within us are available, but I like what Roedel suggested in his poem. He said when the head and heart battle is surviving and settles in the gut, causing physical and emotional damage, invite them, instead, into your lungs. The lungs hug the heart and sit closer to the head than the gut, if you remember anatomy class. Slow breathing calms both the head and the heart in the lungs, allowing for happily ever after.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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