Knowing your heart

Men think women’s hearts are complicated.
And us women think it’s the other way round…it is men’s hearts that are complicated. 

The result is that there is this seemingly great divide between men and women when it comes to their hearts. There is so much ignorance and misunderstandings and these tend to shroud the heart in a great cloud of mystery for both men and women.

I must confess here and now that I am going to give my heart to a man who is comfortable with holding a woman’s heart in his hands. I am going to give my heart to a man who is interested and deliberately makes the effort to understand how the heart works. Because a man like that will know that getting his own heart is paramount to getting a woman’s heart…and vice versa. 

For me, this year is about getting back to the basics, getting rudimentary with myself and with life. And I realised the other day when I said something to someone that even I did not expect myself to say, that my own heart is largely a stranger to me. 

So I’m going back to school – to learn about my heart and all its complexities.

For most of our childhood and adulthood, we are taught and trained to fear our heart as though it were something apart from us. We are indirectly and sometimes even directly encouraged not to pay attention to ourselves but to run from ourselves and avoid all the stuff that would make us seem too emotional or too attached to this unpredictable thing called the heart. 

Yes, I do see the need to have a healthy fear for the heart only because we are a mixture of good and bad and this healthy fear if you used correctly would help keep our flawed side in check. However, the training we receive in the world tends to drive us to the other extreme end of the pendulum where fearing the heart is synonymous with avoiding it and not making the effort to understand it. 

People have told me many times that I am too emotional; that I take things too personally and that I make a big deal out of small things. This is true if you look at it from where you are standing. From where I stand, it is something totally different. It is only by getting to know my heart that I came to understand why I appear to take things personally and why everything that affects me is important to me. 

The beauty is that I am reaching a point where I can recognise when my feelings and emotions have their source in insecurity, pride or fear. And once you get to this point, this is actually the easy part. What is hard is dealing with these emotions and feelings in the right way; dealing with them in a balanced way.

Knowing your heart requires courage – the courage to face all the glitter, grim and grime that the heart possesses; the courage to deal with all the different emotions and reactions. Knowing your heart also requires vulnerability because you will have to unpack yourself in the most revealing of ways.

When you know your heart, you know where most of your strengths and weaknesses are; you know where your thoughts, words and actions come from; you know when your emotions are controlling you and when they are in balance with your will; and you know why you act and react the way you do to things, people and situations.

If you really think about it, the mystery isn’t all that great. Your heart is yours to know; it is yours to discover, uncover and conquer….especially before you decide to give it to somebody else.  

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