Pagan Journeys

Pagan Journeys => Pagan Chat => Topic started by: rainshadow on December 12, 2012, 08:13:31 PM

Title: Head versus Heart versus Gut
Post by: rainshadow on December 12, 2012, 08:13:31 PM
How do you differentiate what your heart is telling you versus what your head is telling you? Or even your heart versus head versus gut instinct? Would gut instinct and heart be in the same category? I'm listening, I just don't know what I'm listening to... I don't know what is the "real" driving force behind the way I'm thinking/feeling about things right now. When someone asks me to choose between my head and my heart, I get two very different answers, and I don't know which one to follow... everyone says your heart... but I don't know which part of me is screaming the loudest. I feel like I'm second guessing my decisions right now.

I work well under pressure... "flight or fight" is my thing... so everything I've had to process and swallow these past two months with the divorce and my mom's death have been painfully slow, almost like since it isn't a certain kind of stress, it doesn't activate the same responses in me, if that makes any sense.

I had a reading done today that provoked my first paragraph and have been thinking about it on and off since then. I wasn't sure where to put it, but I put it here (if it's in the wrong place, please feel free to move)... I could take it a step further and say head versus heart versus gut versus the divine telling you things need to happen and to get off your butt... but again, at what point is that and what exactly are we listening to?
Title: Re: Head versus Heart versus Gut
Post by: earthmuffin on December 13, 2012, 09:50:07 AM
Very good question. I have to run off right now but will think on this more and get back to the thread. I am not sure I will have any clearer of an answer than what I've already proposed to you, though. ;)
Title: Re: Head versus Heart versus Gut
Post by: Ghost Wolf on December 13, 2012, 12:05:31 PM
All I can advise is to do what is in your rational self-interest.
Title: Re: Head versus Heart versus Gut
Post by: earthmuffin on December 13, 2012, 06:56:18 PM
In your case, Rain, I agree with GW. When one is in a state of extreme emotional upheaval, depending on one's (or a good friend's) voice of reason is the best bet. If you don't know what is best for yourself, ask family members and good friends who care about you, preferably the ones who are rational and sensitive.

People say "follow your heart" to someone feeling lost, but I don't think that means the same thing as blindly following your emotions. People tend to equate emotions with the heart but I think the heart is more... it's your internal knowledge of what is right for you. For sound decision-making, it's necessary to listen to both your gut instincts and your emotions and use your rational mind to determine your best course of action. For some that could mean acknowledging those gut instincts and feeling those emotions because they have been trained to always discount or ignore those. In that case, the rational mind has been given precedence in the decision-making trifecta. For others it might mean realizing when you are reacting in response to your emotions rather than operating from a mindful state. Some may equate feelings of love to the heart and follow along ignoring gut instincts or rational thought-- but that's just a feeling, not what your heart is telling you. We all are aware of how feelings of love can do a number on the rational self; people will do crazy things for love, years later to wonder what the heck they were thinking at the time... the problem is, they most likely weren't thinking much at all. I would argue that real love is much more thoughtful and about how you choose to treat yourself and others, rather than an emotional state.

My explanation is probably not very helpful, I know. I think you just need to focus on yourself right now, hon. Do what you need to do to give yourself the best outcome for the future while staying true to your values and ethics.
Title: Re: Head versus Heart versus Gut
Post by: dragonspring on December 13, 2012, 08:07:25 PM
I agree with EM - I especially like the "mindfulness" term.  I am a person with strong emotional and intuitive feeling.  I have learned that it is best to make decisions when my rational self is in agreement with the feelings coming from my heart and gut.  Sometimes that means that I have to give myself some time to calm those feelings and become more mindful. 
Title: Re: Head versus Heart versus Gut
Post by: rainshadow on December 13, 2012, 08:22:45 PM
Thanks guys. At the rate things have been happening, I just feel lost.

Everyone and their mothers are telling me to pack up, go home, start over... which, logically (for me, I equate logic with following my head), I know this is sound advice, and it is advice that I would give to anyone in my situation. Well, almost. I say that because there are financial reasons for me to stick it out until this deployment is over, as I risk losing a lot if I just packed up and left, but beyond that, I would tell anyone in my shoes just to get up and go. We are both going on vacation next week, I'm going to Ohio, he's going to Arizona to be with his girlfriend, then he's going to Ohio after that to be with his family, then shortly after his return, he is supposed to deploy again, so it's not like we'd be seeing each other that often between now and the deployment.

With my heart, though, that's another story. Every time he's been mean to me, called me a name, said he was gonna screw me over, what have you, no matter the level of anger I reach, a little voice keeps telling me just told "hold on a little longer." Even looking at the crappy things he's doing... the way he's treating me, the way he walked out on me, reading the conversations with his girlfriend (which made me puke and cry for close to an hour while I was taking a shower the other day)... all of it... something keeps telling me to treat this with compassion and to take the higher road. Which, I had that confirmed at the reading the other day... the reader told me not to act out of anger, to be the bigger person, to not give up, etc.

I don't know how many times I've tried telling myself that this "isn't him"... that he's messed up from the deployments, that he's messed up over things that have happened between us, that he has anger issues he needs to learn to control... and then I just think that really, there's only so much I can do to help him... I did everything I could and he still made the choice to walk out. I have no control over his choices, I really don't. As much as I want him to walk back in that door and tell me that he's sorry, that we can fix things, I think back to his conversations with her, I think back to the mean and horrible things he's said to me, and I really don't know how I would react if he did come back. There would have to be some intense counseling, I think.

But the dilemma I face is: Logically, with my brain, I think that I should pack up and go. I don't have family here in Colorado, all of my family and core group of friends are in Ohio. But I run the risk there of leaving, going back, maybe finding a job if I'm lucky that will be enough to pay my bills because the area is horrible, etc. I would also keep my medical if I stayed here in Colorado, which right now, is needed. Financially, it would also be smarter for me to stay here in Colorado, at least until this deployment is over (which will be 6 months to a year). I could get my bearings together and make a more "solid" plan, so to speak. At least for now, with him out of the house, I have a roof over my head, our bills are paid, I have food...

My heart, well, my heart is screaming to hang on to that one little thread. I'm staring his emotional abuse and the crap he's putting me through in the face... but there's only so much a person can take... and literally, it makes him mad just to even be in the same room with me, like, he has some hardcore unresolved anger and depression problems he needs to deal with... a part of me is saying, "Okay, people do stupid things under stress and that's what he's doing" because I've been there, part of our marital issues were because of how I used to respond to dealing with my stressors and how he stuffed his... I am having a hard time understanding why he walked out the way that he did... no indication, no nothing... in the middle of fertility treatments... like, I think he snapped and needs help. I'm having a hard time understanding his lies and understanding the games he's playing... because this isn't him. I was married to him for six years, I know him very well, I know his dark side, his light side, and everything in between... whoever this person is, this is not the man I was with two months ago when all this began. The person he is now is not the sound, logical, reasonable (at least semi reasonable) person he has been for the last six years... and I fail to believe that it just happened overnight like it did.

If I would have listened to my intuition, I would have seen this coming a year ago when he got back from Afghanistan. Well, maybe not seen the divorce, but I definitely saw issues popping up. And in my defense, I did try to get him help... as I noticed his anger getting worse and him withdrawing more, sucking himself into video games, etc., I did try to talk to him, to get him to get some counseling, he always refused. Saying he wanted to fix it himself. He said that this has been coming for a while... but I don't understand how... I mean, you buy a home with someone (we just bought our house last November), you buy your wife a brand new car, you rack up debt with her, go through fertility treatments to have kids... and literally, our last fertility treatment was on the Friday before he said he wanted a divorce (which was on a Tuesday)... why do all that just to turn around and leave a year later, especially when you say that it's been a long time coming?

I know this thing with his girlfriend is just an infatuation... she's going to see things that she won't put up with like I did... and I think that because at one point, when she knew he was still living with me and saying he loved me, etc., she tried cutting ties with him... he literally begged her to stay, told her he didn't love me, that he was only saying it to make me feel better, blah blah blah... she's going to see it and leave or he's going to get bored, realize what he had and try to come back, whatever... I see exactly what he's doing with her, I see what he's telling our friends and family, I see the way he's treating me and everything he's putting me through... I'm having a hard time rationalizing staying in this mess and I want so badly to get rid of that little nagging voice that's telling me to stick it out.

I'm just in a very confused, vulnerable position right now and I don't like it at all. I don't like being in positions where I have to depend on other people, and now I intensely despise it because I've depended on him, which is my main stay for survival right now and it sucks. I'm angry, I'm depressed, I'm upset, I feel so many emotions bombarding me at one time and it just really sucks. I followed him halfway across the country for the last six years, been through two deployments, supported his military career just for him to leave me hanging... He told me yesterday that while he wasn't in love with me, he wasn't going to say that he didn't love me. I'm just having a hard time understanding this.. understanding my mixed reaction... understanding how you could have such hate and anger towards a person that YOU did wrong... like, none of that makes sense to me and I really don't know how to deal with it.

The biggest battle I'm facing is whether or not to stay or go. I have a feeling I will end up back in Ohio at some point, it's just a matter of when. A very big part of me is saying to stick things out with him, even if they aren't working now, or might not work later, that this is the safest option for me in terms of security. My little heartstrings are being pulled to stand by him, despite what he's doing right now, because he has been through going on his third combat tour in 4 years... a part of me doesn't want to walk away and feel like I'm leaving him stranded, despite the fact that he left me stranded and wondering what in the hell happened to everything we've built in six years together.

I don't see things lasting between us, but on the other side of that, I don't think I'm done learning what I'm supposed to learn from him.

Everyone says, "Do what's best for you," "Follow your heart," etc. and I really don't know what's best for me, I don't know where my heart is really telling me to go. I just know that whatever happening is testing my strength, showing me that I can do things on my own, teaching me how to handle some very big curveballs... I know the biggest thing here is that I have to learn to stop putting myself on the back burner, I need to learn to be me again, to be my own independent person.

Sorry for the super long post. I'm just in a funk tonight.
Title: Re: Head versus Heart versus Gut
Post by: earthmuffin on December 13, 2012, 09:17:01 PM
I think how you are feeling is all totally natural and understandable. You may be able to find a way to let him know that you are supportive of him and there for him if he needs you with the deployment and all, without letting him walk all over you, or take all your finances or self-respect. It's all in where you draw your boundaries and I think that is the higher ground you speak of. I also think if staying where you are makes better sense financially for the long-term, there's no reason you have to make a decision to move back right now. Give yourself time to heal and to make sound decisions. The vacation home may bolster you and give you some answers. As for figuring out his motives or where his head is, you may never be able to do that. Let that go, if you can, because it will only drive you nuts trying and I don't see it as that important to the decisions before you at present. It's an adjustment and it will take time.  :squeezes:
Title: Re: Head versus Heart versus Gut
Post by: Tirya on December 13, 2012, 09:31:27 PM
The phrase that jumped into my head was "Stick it out for the money, not for the man." The financial issues for staying may be sound, but it sounds like you're trying to make excuses to "win him back" - and after everything that he's done and continues to do, you deserve better than someone who would do that to you. Doesn't matter how "messed up" he is right now - some things are unforgivable and inexcusable, IMHO. So stay for the financial security it provides, if you feel you need to. But don't fool yourself into thinking that he's going to magically change back from a frog into a prince and it's going to end up being happily ever after... because you deserve better than someone who would do that to you.