A good heart is better than all the heads in the world. –Robert Bulwer-Lytton
When we fall in love we feel our heart flutter, beat loudly or leap for joy; when we are rejected our heart breaks. We are called heartless or cold-hearted when we show no care or love, big-hearted when we extend our concern to others. We “take things to heart” or “talk heart to heart” about deeply personal issues. We love someone “from the bottom of our heart” but are half-hearted about something when we are emotionally uninvolved. We all experience our heart as the center of our feelings, as seen on Valentine’s Day, when love-filled hearts abound. We know this instinctively, as we always physically point to our heart when we say “I” or want to express our deeper feelings.
Yet our heart is so much more than a vessel for romance. It has been described as the king, with the mind as the king’s advisor. When faced with a decision, the king may ask his advisors for advice, may even send them out into the world to gather information, but ultimately it is the king that makes the final decision. Even though the advisors do not always agree with the king’s decision, the king is invariably right, as the king’s view not only sees the bigger picture but is also aware of the needs of others.
In the same way, when faced with a decision or conflict, our mind may come up with numerous different and quite logical reasons why we should act as it advises, but if we listen to and trust our heart, however illogical or irrational it may appear, it is usually right and we are happier as a result.
There is great brilliance and beauty inherent within the mind as it is capable of understanding the most intricate scientific and mathematical theories and can make complicated corporate decisions, yet the same mind can get caught up in trivia and nonsense, becoming upset or even unglued over a seemingly harmless remark. It runs our lives, pushing and pulling us in all directions, from attraction to repulsion, creating endless dramas acting out our insecurities and fears, for it is not in touch with our deeper feelings. Living inside our heads all the time is actually not much fun!