No matter who you are, finding a balance of head and heart is a lifelong endeavor. I have had to learn how to allow my very capable head to be an equal partner; from a young age, my passionate, sensitive heart has tried to rule the roost. In younger years, that meant that my emotions could far too easily rum amok; as a counter-balance, I misguidedly tried to build a fortress around my heart.
In the past decade or so, I have become more aware of when one teammate tries to lord it over the other; consequently, I have become more adept at fending off mutiny of one or the other. Over the course of the past year, I somehow have floated above them both, which has afforded me an oddly objective view of both head and heart.
It as if I have become a parent to two children who love each other furiously, but are just as prone to stifle the other when in need of attention. As their parent, my responsibility is to love them both fully, yet acknowledge that there may be times when one needs more attention or guidance. In doing so, they both learn that there is an ebb and flow to leading, following, and walking hand in hand.
Today I met with the surgeon who will perform my hip replacement next week (10 days, to be exact). He has presented himself in both of our meetings as a Head. I have, on both occasions, hoped for more heart; today, however, I was prepared for the Head, and brought mine to make his acquaintance.
And I was pleased to discover that I felt no less strong: My heart stayed still, behaved (save for a brief moment of near-teariness in the presence of Dr. Head), and waited patiently for the meeting to end. My head spoke on behalf of all of us; I was pleased with its performance.
When trying to Hang On, most days—in my experience—follow the heart’s lead. Yet it is helpful to remember that the head is there, too, just waiting for a chance to save the day.