Our hearts are delicate, intricate organs, psychologically as well as physically. We connect the heart with emotions and perhaps that is why it means so much to us; it’s probably the first organ that we learnt to draw and likely the only one that we still do. Our hearts connect with every part of the body, perhaps more obviously and visually than the brain and its nerve connections, and that internal flow perhaps also best represents the connectedness of our inner being; the state of our physical and psychological hearts affect every fibre of our being.
Heart health, with increased awareness and rising risks, has become a huge issue in modern life, almost a ‘buzz’ word in its own right. Perhaps you consciously adopt various strategies, whether through exercise or diet, that will keep your heart healthier, stronger and for longer. But what about your psychological heart?
Despite scientific knowledge shedding greater light and understanding on the psychological, on our innermost, deepest and most mysterious workings, we perhaps have moved no further forward in appreciation. In fact, it could be argued that, despite modern knowledge, modern lifestyles actually are at greatest conflict with our psychological health than at any other more backwards, more primitive point in history. What do you think?
However, we do intuitively protect our psychological hearts and sometimes we adopt some rather odd strategies to do so. These strategies can be difficult to comprehend; in fact they can give a misleading, if not totally erroneous, impression. I watch a friend do this and at times, I have to defend her attitude to others. I know why she says and acts the way she does because I do it too.
Our hearts are delicate but they have so much work to do, it never stops and can’t, but sometimes that can become too much, too much pressure and it hurts. How do you deal with heart pain? Do you have a tried and tested strategy or perhaps have you even found a cure?
But I know that some people turn to medicating, they find things that they hope will at least distract or block out the pain so they can go coping, pretending that their hearts aren’t as sore as they really are, that their hearts aren’t as overworked as they really are. Maybe they use physical things like alcohol or maybe they trust in a psychological cure for their psychological hearts, seeking out good times and thrills and pleasures so that they can pretend that their heart is feeling all that too.
Sometimes we try putting up walls around our hearts, not letting people in, not letting them poke at our sore, damaged little hearts. It’s hard to build a wall, a physical line of defence around an organ, physically or psychologically. It’s not very effective, it’s not easy to maintain. We tend to avoid things, or people, instead. Perhaps we follow the heart health advice of ‘taking it easy’, avoiding the thrills or triggers that might just be too much.
The problem also with those walls is that we can give the impression that we don’t care, that we are mean or unloving or that we are callous. We forget what ‘calloused’ really means, it’s not always a conscious choice or decision but a process. Hearts became calloused, or at least give the impression of being calloused, because they have been damaged. Calloused is the scar tissue, the burn, the damage. Calloused doesn’t really mean a heart that doesn’t care but it’s a heart that has cared too much for too long.
Don’t judge people by what they say. Look beyond the words and remember the stories of their hearts. Often those who claim or pretend not to care are those who care most but their hearts are worn out, damaged, broken. They are doing their best to be responsible, to stay alive and protect their heart from any further damage. It’s not easy and the words, the attitude can be something like bravado; it is ourselves that we are trying to convince, we are trying to distance ourselves. But we never chose to care in the first place, it is our deepest instinct and it’s not one that is silenced easily, if at all.