In the past months I have received advice to “get out of your head, Amalia, and live more from your heart”. After checking this against my own values and who I know myself to be, I agreed with the advice. Even the first sounds of it resonated with me because experiences in my life have been teaching me that it’s important to not forget my heart. In my teen years, I went the route of trusting my head (I will also refer to it here as the mind) and was very leery of my heart. To get to the point quicker, I didn’t trust my heart and thought that was the best route to go…to not trust myself, to not trust my heart, and to deny myself. Also twisted into this was the association of my emotions with my heart, thus my poor heart and emotions were labeled as a problem child, a sure way of getting hurt and failing in life. The result? I deprived and shut out my heart and fought against my emotions, rather than allowing them to work for me.
There is nothing like the romantic, love relationship of our life to help us see things about our self that are not fun or pretty to see, yet is so needed and so good for us. I recently got engaged and after a couple recent disagreements with my loving fiance (okay, we can call them what they were…full on fights), I am even more in love with him and my self than before. How I came out on the other side secure in that love, was by seeing what I can learn and change for my self. One of the powerful lessons I learned that I am writing about here, is about better understanding my emotions by getting to know them: what they look like, where they live in me, what they are telling me about myself, and how I can enjoy them in a way that serves me and others best.
I don’t know about you, but for most of my life so far I have pictured my emotions as living in my heart. After all, most of our world and my American society, relate the heart with love and we see love as an emotion. With that in mind, we also know anger, fear, hurt, joy, peace, and many other feelings as an emotion. When I looked up the definition of emotion, I felt I had to be a psychologist or scientist to understand the blend of words being words. It was a bit overwhelming and didn’t seem practical for my use. Heck, I even went so far as to start writing about the definition right here and now in this post. Then I erased it all because I realized, I’m not here to get technical about this; I’m here to write about this from the heart; from my heart.
Plain and simple, I know it’s important to listen to both my head and my heart. Balance is important to maintain in this. My emotions are wonderful aspects of me and it helps me to picture their home as my head, my mind. This doesn’t mean that they are not found in my heart as well. I picture it sort of like emotions visiting my heart from my mind. They’re a powerful link between all the different aspects of my physical and spiritual self, revealing themselves in feelings and interacting with thoughts.
So what does this all mean about getting out of my head so much and living from my heart more? For me, it’s in understanding my emotions and using my imagination to picture where they live and come from. This helps me to have the right picture and understanding of my heart and my mind as well. Rather than going to an extreme of choosing the mind or the heart, I hold the power to tell my mind or heart and emotions thank you in all circumstances. In cases like this, appreciation is key when it is followed through with direction. Some situations may look like this: I can thank my mind for it’s hard work in looking after me, but at this time, it can relax and allow my heart to lead.
Practices like this bring to light that what is in our minds and hearts is also important to be conscious of. Is there love in my heart? Love for myself and therefore love for others? Is there trust there in my heart? Is it fear that I am feeling and should I take make my choices and act out of that emotion? And remember, there is a difference between reacting from our emotions and expressing them with self-ownership.
I’m finding it very helpful for myself when I remember that emotions are to be appreciated, even thanked by me. Perhaps this is part of the process of choosing what role my emotions play in my actions. Whether they’re pleasant, positive emotions like love and peace, or if they’re hard, ugly emotions, like anger and fear, I can listen to them and give them their due time to be, before I then let it go and move on. Most importantly, I think that my emotions will always tell me the most about my self and another person’s emotions will tell them the most about their self. Emotions all hold the same power…the power that we give them.