Bridging the 18 inches between my head & heart
I’ve always been interested in how things work. As a kid, I’d take things apart just to see what was inside. Most of the time, I could get it put back together.
Years ago I realized that I didn’t have the necessary infrastructure between my head & my emotions (my heart). I’d spent years being rewarded [read: paid] for using my head. Yet I realized there were things going on below the surface — in my heart — which defied & confused the logic in my head. In fact, there wasn’t much of a bridge to connect the 18 inches between my head and my heart. I knew I needed a way to build that bridge, so I could get out of my head and connect with the emotions in my heart. I had no idea how to accomplish this. And even if I did, what would I do when I arrived, staring face-to-face at the condition of my heart?
The church I attended emphasized small groups, saying life change happens in small groups. So, I found a small group. For me, it felt like the Junior High years all over again. There was a clique of guys who “knew” and “understood” each other. Although I was part of the group, I wasn’t part of the clique. I felt like an outsider on this journey to discover the condition of my heart. Years later, an acquaintance invited me to another men’s group. In this group, we tore into John Eldredge’s books, starting with Wild at Heart. I started to feel like I was moving — albeit slowly — toward the entrance of that bridge to connect my head to my heart. But something was still missing. Although we talked about “heart” things, I found myself in my head most of the time.
Then one man — and another — went on a men’s weekend. They came back noticeably changed. I could see it. These men had a new confidence. They had seen and touched something that I was thirsty for. They crossed the bridge, got into the basement of their hearts, and began clearing away years and years of accumulated dust.
So I went. I worked on trust, anger and fear. And — for the first time — I felt myself spanning that bridge to my heart:
- I learned there were men in a group I could actually trust. I had a few good friends, but never trusted men in groups.
- I also found I could trust what I was hearing from my heart. Trust became the bridge support between my head and heart.
- I wrestled with anger & fear, understanding part of why I felt them. I got to the fear only after experiencing trust. Anger and fear had formed a wall between my head and heart. Oddly enough, when I let them go, they became part of the bridge deck between my head & my heart.
Just like when I was a kid, I got a look at the inside of my heart. But, unlike the toys and contraptions I’d take apart as a child, I’ve become less concerned about putting my heart back together. Fixing it wasn’t the solution. Recognizing and accepting the condition of my heart for what it was — and what it made me — IS the solution.
I continue to discover new things about the condition of my heart. And truth be told, my tendency is to live in my head. The men in my small group today, who have completed The Crucible Weekend, encourage and challenge me to keep connecting my head and my heart. I’ve crossed the bridge before and I’ll cross it again. The more I cross it, the stronger the bridge gets. And I feel whole. Complete. Connected.
- How did/do you connect with your heart?
- What do you do in your life to strengthen the bridge that connects them?
– By Jason Bachman
Jason completed his initial Crucible weekend in 2010. He has staffed and volunteered at The Crucible Project ever since. His mission is to create a world of authentic community where people speak the truth and accept each other. Jason works as a solution consultant for a global firm, and lives in the Chicago suburbs.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Raymond