PapaPotatoe, Personal, Rayola, Sara Ray, Sociological/Psychology

​Hesitant Mental Cliff-Diving: Heart vs. Brain.

I used to think I was brave. I have since learned that that is not the case.

I don’t know what changed. Instead of jumping headfirst into whatever situation presents itself without a second thought to the consequences, now I can’t jump at all. I over-worry so much beforehand that the thought of my feet leaving the ground scares me too much to even attempt the leap. 

My brain shackles my feet to the ground like tree roots while my heart pulls at the chains, screaming for freedom. 

“Jump!” My heart commands, “Just do it already!” My adrenaline activates, feet scooting closer to the edge, deep breaths preparing for the fall, but then it insensitively adds the phrase, “What’s the worse that could happen?” 

That is when my brain interrupts, having overheard the conversation and needing to add its two cents. “What’s the worse that could happen you ask? Well I’ll tell you…” and then proceeds to rattle off all the hypothetical consequences of why it is such a bad idea. 

My heart patiently waits for the list to end, intently listening and understanding the reasons for each point of threat but not feeding into the worry. It argues, mockingly, “What if, what if, what if?: Who cares?!” it emphasizes with an irritated snort. “Everything has the potential to lead to something disastrous but you can’t let that stop you! Because it also has the potential to lead to something magical and wonderfully life-changing. If you never leave the ground you will never have the opportunity for something new. You want adventure, don’t you? Then you have to jump!”

My body reacts to this argument with spastic toes like worms wriggling free of soil, just waiting for the moment they’re put to the test, eager to make the leap off that cliff. But my know-it-all brain hears that key word “Jump” and goes off on another rant of why I should just stay where I am, silencing my toes, heart, and all other senses. “It’s safe here. You know what to expect,” it tells me. “The unknown is scary, so just stay where you’re comfortable. Or, at the very least, thoroughly research your next move so you know what it entails before you attempt it. Know what you are getting yourself into.”
 
Now, most times this heart/brain conflict is useful. It prevents me from the childish acts of teenage rebellion I had grown so fond of: all those little acts of deviance that served no purpose other than hedonism. It helps limit the undesirable consequences of potentially ‘messing up my life’. Because to simply act on all of your desires is a dangerous thing to do, whether physically, mentally, socially, financially, etc…

But, on the other hand, to never act on your desires is equally as dangerous. Well, maybe not exactly ‘dangerous’ per say, but it is very restraining. It limits the opportunity for something new. That ‘new’ could be positive or negative, you never know. YOU NEVER KNOW UNTIL YOU TRY.

 Letting my heart decide is never an easy thing because all those worries that my brain points out make a lot of sense. Choosing to ignore those concerns is impossible. So, instead, I recruit my secondary brain: the one that argues with the first. I let them duke it out but allow my heart to act as compass. (Maybe the ‘secondary brain’ belongs to the heart; the ‘emotional’ brain, giving voice to its desires in a valid debating style so that it has the chance to rival the ‘primary’, or rational brain.) 

 This goes on indefinitely. Back and forth, back and forth, emotional vs. rational. But no one ever wins. So, in the end, I have to choose which one to listen to while taking advice from both. It requires a conscious effort on my part to decide on one way of thinking, which brain to listen to. When one starts to get the upper hand I have to remind myself of the other’s points. Both are valid. Both make sense. Both are me.

 I suppose it comes down to the level of desire. If the act at hand, the one in question that causes this rivalry of brain and heart, if it is worth it to you than the heart will overpower anything the brain can conjure and you must jump. 

 
I have been listening to my rational brain for far too long and am feeling stuck because of this. So as of this moment I am going to try to take advice from my heart and jump more often. Sensible mental cliff-diving, I call it.

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PapaPotatoe, Rayola, Sara Ray, Sociological/Psychology

“The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn Is Just To Love And Be Loved In Return”: Love After Heartbreak

How many times can one heart break and keep on beating?


Heartbreak feels just as it sounds; a crippling ache in the soul, an empty void of nothingness stripping away everything you once were. It can be so traumatic that it requires every bit of strength you possess just to keep from collapsing to the floor. Or it can present itself in a more quiet, reserved kind of apathy and hardening of the heart.

No one ever willing puts themselves through that suffering, yet we do it all the time. Even after failing in the past and knowing the consequences we keep trying like powerless moths, drawn to the flame.

Because people need people, right? It’s a common theory. But do we really? Yes, we do. We desire closeness, to share ourselves with others, to confide in others, to have somebody to listen to our trivial rantings, to give us advice on what to do.

All anybody really wants in life is to be heard, understood, remembered, needed, and loved.

But it’s so much easier not to care. Or at least we trick ourselves into believing that’s true. We seek to be independent, to not need anything from anyone but ourselves. Yet no matter how confident we are, we always seem to come crawling back to those few essentials desires.

To love with all your heart and be loved that way in return is the best feeling in all the world. Keeping ourselves from love for fear of pain is a natural reaction to a broken heart but it’s the easy way out. Being able to come back for more pain, now that’s what requires true strength.

It might be easier not to care but it’s incredibly hard to commit to. Continuing to care after heartbreak is what’s truly commendable.


So how many times can one heart break and keep on beating? The answer is ultimately up to you.

 

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PapaPotatoe, Rayola, Sara Ray, Sociological/Psychology

Time Helps But Does Not Heal

 

pocket-watch

Can you live with a broken heart? Can you love again after you’ve lost? I really don’t know.

They say that time heals all wounds but I don’t believe that’s true. I say, rather, that each trauma is a weight on your shoulders, never to be removed. More weights are tacked on throughout life until you are riddled with so many burdens you think you’ll surely crumble under the pressure. But don’t worry, you won’t. The burden never lifts but you become stronger over time having to suffer the weight. The more pain you go through, the stronger you become. Life is a series of trials and tribulations, not as a test to see if you’re strong but rather as a requirement.

You’re stronger than you think.

Photo cred:

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2013/10/secret-message-hidden-abraham-lincolns-pocket-watch/

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