Seriously, how many times have you passed up on getting to know someone you felt attracted to just because it was ‘illogical?’ Our feelings are the highest source of intelligence there is.
But we don’t listen, preferring instead one brain-induced decision after another.
I call time on this risk-adverse behaviour. It’s safe and it’s boring. Screw your ideal qualities list. Look, I made one too (47, last count).
Doing it definitely raises your self-awareness. But it shouldn’t be the bedrock of a decision to get into a relationship. In fact, there is no ‘decision’ element with the heart. But wait, don’t be fooled. There is a bit more nuance to just blindly following your attractions.
We can get strong feelings that seem to come from deep within us. That’s the heart speaking, right?
Hold your horses. The heart is not volatile, reactive and changeable. It is not compulsive and impatient. These feelings, although not originating in the mind, are ‘the mind in the body’. Past pain; past emotional trauma; unhealed childhood wounds.
If we want to hear the heart, we need to recognize when we’re just being addicted to our painful emotions (and drawn to people that will validate those) as much as we need to disengage with excessive rationalizing.
So what does the heart sound like? The heart it seems to me, speaks to us in a simple language:
- ‘I don’t know why, but I like him/her’.
- When I see him/her, I feel happy.
How to crank up the heart’s volume
Because our heads speak so loudly, we need to work at cultivating a heart-centred awareness.
These are good tools:
Stop judging and over-analysing our environments. Tune into how experiences and interactions feel instead of rationalising them. (Become aware of bodily sensations; rest our awareness’s there).
Practice gratitude daily. Taking time to connect with all that is good in life is the most practical way to connect with the heart.
Take time daily to ‘tune out to tune in’ (regular digital detoxes; meditation; yoga). This gets us used to a state of awareness that is listening, and breaks brain processing patterns. It will help to let the information in.
Get more comfortable with uncertainty. We all have different thresholds with this. We can increase ours by challenging ourselves to do things that involve uncertain outcomes (solo travel trips are good) and leaning into those scary feelings.
Declutter life of the empty and meaningless. Work to cultivate heart-centred decisions across life, not just in romance. Our approaches to things are pervasive (‘how we do one thing is how we do everything’).
Stop being such a p**sy. This is a ballsy way to live; I’m not going to lie.
This is the first time in our evolutionary history that we have had the choice to make authentic decisions, letting the heart guide our choice of work, our relationships and the design of our lives.
That makes it practically our responsibility to do so.