BY DR. CHRISTOPHER JORDAN
It has been said that the mind without the heart is cruel and the heart without the mind is foolish. I have used that aphorism frequently in order to illustrate the necessity for living a life balanced between the two. Often it is symbolic to consider the mind to be the site of our thoughts, and the heart the site of our emotions.
Our ideas, concepts and beliefs are mental constructs. What we know we are taught. Whether we are an autodidact or a formal student, we gather information. In our early years, we tend to believe what we are told. Over time, we develop reasoning and formulate our own opinions. As we build our knowledge base, we gain personal decision-making tools.
Our emotions, feelings and desires come from a different place. They are reactions. They reflect our joys and fears. Emotion can be a big part of our decision-making. Our feelings can help build trust. Tempered by what we know, they can help us make better decisions. By themselves, they may lead us to poor choices.
One way to ascertain if we are functioning from both heart and mind is to be self-reflective. We call them feelings because we feel them. An emotion will most likely have a corresponding sensation in the body, as well as an outward reaction or inward thought that too often is not always reasonable. Often the very thing we try to do with someone who is acting irrationally, is to reason with them. We are attempting to move them from all emotion to some mental consideration.
Our ideas, concepts and belief are essentially what create our core values. To have consistent yet adaptable values gives us guideposts for living in a multicultural world. The origin stories of life that we have adopted are the stories we believe to be true in order for us to cope with an unknown future, and with an uncertain past that has been told from many perspectives. For us, our stories are true. Does that necessarily mean that any other stories are not?
When our beliefs are challenged, we may be thrown into a mental defense, which is expressed in a way that has no consideration for the sensibilities of another, wishing only to obliterate an alternative idea with a barrage of facts that we have been convinced are true. When our minds are engaged by the thoughts of others, do we consider those thoughts from that perspective? When we share our thoughts with another, are we aware of the method and tone of conveyance?
Be sensitive to one another. Be considerate of one another. Be both heartful and mindful. Trust your feelings. Open your mind. Live in the balance.
— Jordan, of DeLand, is the owner, with his wife, Mercedes, of Jordan Health Clinic & Day Spa.