It started with me having to make a difficult decision. Difficult, because I did not have a sense of what I needed or wanted, what would be the right thing for me to do. There was no inkling, and I did not have enough information to let my mind derive at a logical, rational conclusion. The reason for decision making and finding an answer was very significant, a matter of life and death, no kidding.
At this time, a friend of mine reminded me: “Why don’t you ask your heart? It knows everything.” Thanks for that.
Soon after, I went inside and asked my heart. However, my anxious mind barged in, arriving at all sorts of answers and reasons why and why not. My mind is very smart, and it went on and on, especially, after it noticed that it had my attention. The solutions were not very important, there were not many. The exciting part was the justification, the banter with thoughts and nuances of meaning.
Good question! You ask: “How do you know it is not your heart talking but your mind?” In my experience, the heart gives only answers, the mind needs to justify whatever it comes up with. It wants to boast and tell you how clever it is. If you hear a reason why, a validation or dismissal, then it is the mind talking.
My mind, as soon as it calmed down from its all-consuming, exciting self-debates, it returned to anxiety. And the anxiety was stronger, every time it returned from solution hunting and dissecting analyses. Oh, what a dilemma. Soon, it even feared to look for answers because it was too scary to anticipate, what would happen at its next return, during its time of absence. When things were out of control? What to do?
Next, the mind went into panic, shaken by the storm of devastation. The good thing is, all that starts has an end. The storm ended in peaceful silence, as always. (This is one of the extremely seldom occasions when the superlative ‘always’ is utterly appropriate.)
And in this silence, a gentle breeze whispered: “Hello?”
What was this? The mind was so relieved when it discovered it was not alone and it poured its heart out. Finally, someone who listened did not interrupt and did not argue. It talked about the seriously severe problem and the little knowledge it had to arrive at a sensible solution, and if it would not be sensible, there is so much doubt about it, one can just not believe it is true. Then the mind took a breath.
The whisper said: “I agree.”
What a surprise for the mind. However, if no one argues, then there is no purpose for debating. The mind felt deprived of its favourite past time. So it kept on talking about the reasons why this and why not the other and the reasons why this is a good reason and not the other and on and on. It lost itself in its own maze of arguments. In almost a frenzy, it began throwing out the most dubious thoughts. Getting so excited, it forgot how it all started.
During a moment of confusion, the whisper said: “I agree.”
Now, the mind got a slightly annoyed. “How can you agree with everything? Even I postulate something so ridiculous?”
“Don’t you have an opinion?” the mind exclaimed, exhaustedly. “Is it not important to you, who is right and who is wrong?”
“It does not matter.” With these words, waves of glorious love embraced the mind. With a deep sigh, the mind went silent, forgot about control and cradled in the waves with a sweet smile of content.
The mind was at peace for a long time, long enough for a profound change to take place. It realised it did not need to know everything, all the time. It was ok to have blank sections in the web of knowledge without it collapsing. In these spaces, when nothing did matter, there was time to listen, time to rest and time for miracles to unfold.
And one time, when I was floating in a space of peace, calm curiosity reminded the mind of the gentle whisper, and ever so softly it asked: “Who are you?” After several moments of silence, the patient mind heard the whisper reply: “Your heart.”
10 August 2014