Ladies and Gentleman this is Method and Madness post #4, I am Andrew Cline and today I am going to share my heart.

Now that last statement conjures up ideas of sappiness, but that is not my aim. Far from it. Opening up the heart only gets cheesy when there’s no depth to it, and it’s all surface level emotion. But when you can go deep inside the heart, and be honest with what’s inside of it then what you have is self-awareness. And that is a fantastic ability to have. To know who you are and what is really going on inside. It gives a person the ability to be upfront and authentic.

And that ability to be authentic is the other half of my method in tackling topics on this channel. Last week I said wisdom was the first part because wisdom is the nuts and bolts of knowing how to figure things out. But the heart has its place as well. The heart is the reflection of the true self. What’s in your heart is really who you are — for better or for worse.

Now the irony is that our culture is completely sold on the idea that “following your heart” is a good thing, when in reality it’s shallow. Because my experiences while working with kids and teens as a youth pastor, daycare worker, and teacher has given me an up close and personal look at what happens when a person follows their impulses without wisdom guiding them — they make lousy choices!

But magically when we become adults we can all follow our hearts and it’s okay? Folks, your heart is like a compass. A compass doesn’t tell you where to go, it only shows you which direction you’re headed! It’s the mind that is able to know whether or not that’s the path to follow. So to recap the heart shows a person what’s really inside. What we really love, believe, trust…all that good stuff. But it is up to the mind to decipher if what we love, believe, and trust is worthwhile. The head and heart both have to be used. Over emphasize one, and in the end you’ll end up having neither.

Now a word of warning, to open up your heart, in order to become self-aware and authentic is a lot like going through a mine field because every human has been hurt. Whether by our own hands or by someone else, we all have scars and darkness we would rather not deal with. And typically we deal with that stuff by not dealing with it. So let’s not make light of the ability to be vulnerable with oneself. It’s a big step in getting your heart on the right track. And in Christian belief, it’s the first step in God changing you to be like Jesus.

Now personally I didn’t really begin understanding how to embrace my heart till a few years back. My background taught me to not deal with the dirty. Instead just focus on being a good little boy who always does the right thing because that’s what’s really important, and that’s what God wants. Fortunately, I had a great professor in grad school by the name of John Coe, who helped me get a grip and taught me the value of being real with myself, with others, and with God. He helped open up a world to me that I did not understand prior. And I highly recommend you check him out. Link to his lecture:

And as a result of his teaching I have not only come to understand myself on a deeper level, but also life itself. You get past that little kid, hiding in the corner or run away mentality and you are able to see reality for what it is and say, “I got this. I’m not afraid to face this problem head on.” In my own life I can now freely admit I struggle with loneliness. Not exactly something I could do before because I thought it made me weak. But admitting it and asking myself, “Why do I feel this way? What’s the root of this loneliness?” has helped. Wrestling with it has given me better control over it.

And going back to the whole notion of simply “following your heart”; I find it funny that so many people will follow their desires regardless of what wisdom says, but by the same token when it comes time to dealing with their hearts honestly, people don’t. So they give in enough so they do what they want, but when it comes to wrestling with the aftermath people aren’t as keen in doing so. That’s inconsistency. If our hearts our going to rule then let them run their course. Why are we afraid to go deep into our hearts and face what’s in them if they are so good? Unless following one’s heart isn’t that great after all. But that can’t be the case, right? Because that would mean a whole lot of people are living life the wrong way.

So let me know what you guys think. Is my method on point or do I sound mad? Plus what else could I discuss. Leave it all in the comments.Once again I’m Andrew Cline for Method and Madness. Have a swell day.