Heart Decisions


There are times when you have to make up your mind. You have to make a decision. The kind that nobody else can determine for you. A hard decision. A really, really hard decision. What I have now deemed a “heart decision.” You can think and think and think, trying to make it more of a “head decision.” Your brain will literally ache from the constant pack of thoughts running laps around the track in your mind. They really never stop, those persistent little marathon runner thoughts. Their diligence does come in pretty handy when you need to make a head decision, i.e. the smartest, most well-thought out choice. Unemotional decisions. If there even is such a thing.

When feelings and emotions are intensely involved, however, it gets a bit messy. Heart decisions throb. They hurt. Especially if there are little people involved, like your kids. It can be a tricky business interpreting the feeling explosion. It’s like murky water. And it doesn’t matter much if you have goggles when you’re in emotional-decision making kind of water. Goggles don’t really help you, except maybe to give you a false sense of security. You realize pretty quickly, after you jump in, that you have to reach out and feel your way around. If you want to know where you’re going. And you can get all flipped around. Right side up and back down again and, unknowingly, you may end up exactly where you started. That’s how you know it’s a heart decision.

People say, “Just go with your gut.” Its kind of a weird expression, seeing as your guts tend to play hostess to the crap that your body is trying to get rid of. I think people say it because of those instinctual feelings you get. Deep down. They’re hard to describe, like feathers floating, little charged jolts, utter emptiness or overwhelming, hard-to-breathe heaviness. Those instincts tell you when something is wrong or also when something feels so perfectly right. I notice, in these times, that my heart is pounding so hard. Pleading for me to make the right decision. And then my heart echoes….Echoes. It feels like it’s in my guts, deep down. But really I think what’s happening is that my heart pumps so strongly that its powerful echoes bounce around inside. Referred feelings. My heart desperately wants to be heard. And wants to stop my thoughts, in their tracks. I should feel, not think. The best way for my heart to swaddle all of my attention is for it to do what it does best. Flood my whole body with emotion. Beating, pounding, like a toddler non-stop. Until I listen.

I thought, at first, that we should make a head decision when it came to separating our twin boys for first grade. I really had myself convinced. Afterall, what trumps a brain? Spades. Always the spades. The upside down hearts. And my dizzy, turned around, upside down heart said don’t do it. But then, my brain said do it. I felt that intense parent pressure. I needed that adult decision-making “Magic 8 ball” or I needed a quick glimpse into the future. Pure indecisiveness. Somehow, I feel like this will not go away as our children grow. I know that we will have to make decisions that are the smartest sometimes. It’s inevitable.

But today, we, as a family, made up our hearts. My boys are going to be in the same first grade class. For a whole slew of reasons. But mainly because my heart interjected and I listened. And suddenly, I don’t feel any more of the pounding echoes. I feel relief. Like an invisible giant beast hopped down off of my chest. I still don’t want summer to end. I never have, but I don’t have nearly the apprehension, uncertainty or even the fear about my boys starting first grade. I think (pray and hope) that means we made the right decision. The hardest kind. A heart decision.

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