Love is the big booming beat which covers up the noise of hate. Margaret Cho
Do you know when it is your head speaking and when it is your heart speaking when you say something? Reacting to something that happens or responding to someone else’s comments, where do your words or actions come from?
Joy Cowley has a poem in Aotearoa Psalms called Head and Heart.
Head said: “I am logic. I am structure.
I am the stake which supports the young plant.”
Heart said: “I am love. I am mystery.
I am the creative force of life.”
Not surprisingly they got into an argument ending up going to God to ask to be separated. God’s answer: “Not even God can do that.”
They belong together, but their problem is finding peace together because they are so different.
We need both – head thinking and heart feeling – but there’s a big problem when they talk at cross purposes. For example, when one person is speaking from the heart and the one who replies to them speaks from the head.
“I don’t want things to change”. That’s the heart speaking. So will it help to put the case, clearly and logically, that it can’t be helped? That change needs to happen, that change is part of life, etc. etc.
And round the other way round. If someone is expressing their thoughts and trying to be rational in doing so, there’s little gain in responding with feelings only. Much better to say something like: “I hear your argument, but I need to simply say, not what I think, but what I feel.”
The most important thing is to recognise the difference. To recognise it in ourselves and in other people. Then there’s a chance we can communicate. Not at cross purposes, but directly heart to heart and head to head.
God’s advice to Head and Heart in Joy Cowley’s poem is:
Respect each other. Nurture each other.
Help each other to be equal.
Then peace will come more and more – inside ourselves as well as in our relating with others.