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Sunday, February 12, 2017

The heart doesn't care what is proper...

I was reviewing some of the topics I've set aside to write on, but haven't and this one seemed appropriate with Valentine's Day coming up.  I remember a time in the past in which my heart wanted a situation to work out which my head said it wouldn't.  Yet my heart insisted that's what it wanted.  Anyway, even though the situation was 'appropriate', it still was not very realistic.  I know sometimes love or feelings bloom between two people who by virtue of social mores are not considered 'appropriate', but the fact remains that the feelings are there.

I thought I'd written about how grief doesn't care about social expectations, but I don't see it now.  I will either find it or write my thoughts on it.  Like grief which occurs on its own terms, the heart doesn't care what's proper either. We love (or don't love) whom our heart tells us to.   I'm going to divide this idea into three categories.

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We've seen the perfect couple on paper.  They both are smart, nice looking, have a lot in common and they may eventually even get married.  But, they seem to struggle, they drift apart and wake up one day realizing that they have nothing and perhaps they maybe never truly did.  In some ways, the life of their relationship may have resembled my purchase of my 2004 Dodge Neon with the backstory below.  Anyway, the selection of the 2004 Dodge Neon was like a relationship that looks great on paper and seems to meet one's needs, but is lacking that love or chemistry or feel.  Just like I bought the 'practical' car which I ended up being blah about, people may 'buy' such relationships, but never have their heart truly 100% into it.

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In the meantime, we've seen couples that seemed very mismatched.  One is much older, much more 'successful', much more 'attractive' (according to worldly standards), much different personality-wised, or some other such differences.  Yet, there is deep love and connection between the two that defies convention or in some cases what society deems is best.  Take the example of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  He was clearly magnitudes more talented than her musically.  He was British by birth and she was Japanese by birth.  They were raised in different religious backgrounds. Also, he was married to someone else at the time when they met.  Furthermore, she was blamed for the breakup of the Beatles.  On paper, they looked like a serious mismatch.  Yet, by all accounts their relationship was the happiest point in John's life.  His heart didn't care what was considered proper or what society approved of.  His heart loved Yoko for Yoko.

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The third category is situations which are not considered appropriate due to age, ethical or other similar type considerations.  We've seen this in various stories about inappropriate teacher/student, therapist/client,  doctor/patient, police officer/criminal type, honors student/bad boy (or girl)  'relationships'.  In these situations, there is a certain excitement with the forbidden.  There is a certain chemistry each finds in the other, but there is usually a certain understanding between the parties that relationship is not terribly appropriate.  Sometimes, the head screams "DISASTER" or "WRONG", but the heart says, "I LOVE" and it doesn't matter what our head tells us, our heart is pulled a certain way.

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The heart has this funny way of knowing what is important to it and gravitating towards it.  The heart doesn't think to itself I know this relationship is wrong or right.  Neither does the heart make a list of why a relationship is appropriate or not or fitting or not.  The heart just tells us honestly what it feels.  I'm not saying we should pursue what the heart tells us to, nor should necessarily mind it when it  rejects.  However, it is important that we not ignore our heart either.  We do so at our own peril.  If the heart isn't at least acknowledged, I believe it can ultimately bleed into our lives in an unhealthy way--drinking, gambling, drugs, acing out, etc.  If the situation is not appropriate due to legal or ethical issues, it is important to deal what is driving the heart towards the situation instead of indulging it.  If a situation does not have legal or ethical hurdles, it is important to explore whether the situation is healthy for us before pursuing it.  If it is clearly unhealthy, yet you want to pursue it, it is important to address the underlying driver for that.  If a situation doesn't appear to have ethical or legal problems and doesn't appear to be unhealthy, it is still important to be honest with yourself and ask yourself if your heart is into it or if it is just your mind telling you to pursue it.  It is just as important to recognize and be honest with yourself what you are drawing (or trying to) from the relationship.  In other words, are you in it for the right reasons.

My final takeaway, acknowledge and address your heart, but don't let your heart run the show by itself.  Similarly, while it is important to not let your mind clinically determine if a relationship is right for you, your mind should not ignored either.  Many relationships run directly from the heart have lit the sky like a supernova only to collapse in disaster.  While many that seem to be more subdued have grown to shine more over time as the couple really gets to know and appreciate each other.


Don't let the heart rule, while the mind drools.
But don't let mind dictate, while the heart waits.


* Backstory of my 2004 Dodge Neon:  I decided to replace my 1997 Ford Escort.  I had previously owned  a Dodge Shadow which I was comfortable with and was looking for something similar.  In doing a little research, I found that the Dodge Neon was a follow-up to the Dodge Shadow with better performance.  So, to me, it seemed like a practical and reasonable choice.  On paper the price and specs seemed to right for my needs, but when I test drove it, it didn't feel quite right.  I figured it was because I was used to my Ford Escort and that in time I'd get used to it my new car.  The funny thing is that I never did get used to it and when I rented another car a couple years later, I liked the rental better.  Eventually I got rid of the Neon for a car like the rental.  Just like two people who match well on paper, the Neon and I seemed like a great fit, but in the real world, I never felt it.

If you like this post try the following: 

Relationship term meanings - not the Webster Dictionary version.
Love transcends time...
An appropriate song...