From the time you’re little, everyone offers you advice on how to navigate your mind and heart. They’ll tell you to follow your gut, trust your instinct, to place logic aside, to pursue a life that’s true to your soul.
They’ll tell you this in words, and in other messages, too. They’ll show you films and books in which the characters live lackluster, uninspired existences until they throw caution to the wayside and pursue what their bodies are burning with desire for.
And so you grow up thinking that you need to follow your feelings, no matter what. You grow up thinking that you need to trust yourself, no matter what.
What really happens is that you learn to listen to your fear as much as you do your desire. You start believing that love is a chemical reaction, not a committed, daily practice. You start seeing the beauty of routine and stability, and you get confused.
Because when the moment comes that what your heart wants and what your head says collides, you’ll realize that you don’t actually know what to do. You’ll realize that all-or-nothing advice doesn’t make sense, and it doesn’t work. You’ll realize that you’re completely stuck, because you don’t know how to choose.
What you don’t learn is that you cannot rely only on your heart or your mind. You must use them in tandem. You must orchestrate them and dance between them, weave in and out of them. There is a time to feel, there is a time to think. There is a time to be logical, there is a time to be spontaneous. There is a time to ground yourself, there is a time to light up and lift away.
If you do not know whether to choose between what your heart wants and what your mind says, you need to ask yourself honestly: what would result in the best possible outcome for my life? You need to get clear on what your long-term vision for your life is, and then make choices that support that.
Sometimes, we are stuck because we don’t want to accept defeat, or admit futility. Sometimes, our hearts say keep trying when our minds say, this isn’t working, and sometimes, our minds are trying to guide us as much as our spirits are. Sometimes, our thoughts are so filled with fear it’s like we’re spiraling off of it, and we have to correct them with logic, with practice, with observing how our lives actually are versus how we fear they might be.
Our feelings show us where we want to go, our minds tell us how to get there.
Our feelings can tell us what it is we want, our minds must tell us how it is we get it.
So if we are stuck in a dead-end relationship, but holding on because we feel like they are our soulmates, we have to ask ourselves: is this really the path to soulmate love? Because the answer will be no. Our hearts are actually trying to direct us to real love, and our minds are trying to tell us how. Walk away.
If we are exhausted from working non-stop, feeling drained and uninspired, our hearts might tell us that we need a break, even though our minds are propelling us toward our dreams. We have to ask ourselves: is this really the path to success? Burnout certainly is not. We have to allow ourselves to rest, because if our goal is to bring our lives to the next level, we are not going to get there if we are miserable.
The truth is that there is a time for everything in your life. There is a time to listen to your heart and your head. There is a time to follow your inner wisdom, and to listen to the lessons of others who have lived for years beyond you, who have insight you cannot yet fathom. This is why the big picture is so important. So many of the decisions we make are not “right” or “wrong,” they just give us different outcomes. If we don’t know where we want to head, we won’t know what to choose.