A Healthy Heart
A healthy heart is a ultimately a heart at peace. It’s a heart both warm and open. To have such a heart is to have just about everything. But sadly, in our times, too many hearts are aching, broken and bruised, and longing for so much more. Unhealthy hearts are just one of the more unfortunate consequences of a seriously character-impaired age.
How Hearts Get Damaged
We damage our hearts on a physical level with poor nutrition and a dysfunctional lifestyle. The medical services industry has been telling us for years how dearly this costs us all. And any mental health professional worth their salt can tell you how costly to the heart many of our relationships are these days. And while it’s hard enough to try and repair a physically damaged heart, healing an emotionally damaged heart is even more challenging. Damage to the heart is always serious. And sometimes the effects of the damage can last a lifetime.
Dysfunctional relationships don’t always start out in toxic ways. Many folks see only promise at the beginning of their relationships. So, they come into them with high hopes. But they also often come into them somewhat naive. Most folks simply don’t appreciate how much the nature of our age has changed the relationship landscape. They don’t appreciate the degree of character dysfunction in it and the implications of that. Moreover, it’s truly the rare person who possesses both the skill set and the mindset to properly vet the character a potential partner. So, all too often, relationships that start out with great promise, only to end in heartache.
The Keys to Heart Health
I mentioned earlier that a healthy heart is one that is both warm and open. Such a heart is inherently generous, helping to fill the world with goodness, and doesn’t add to problems. But keeping such a heart in today’s world requires more vigilance, strength, and determination than ever. There are simply too many character-impaired folks out their with no respect for the heart, whether it’s others’ or their own. Such folks damage hearts with abandon. They care only about their selfish desires and gratifying them at all costs, most often at the expense of others. So, it’s all too easy to develop a heart that’s hardened, closed, well-defended.
Getting the balance right is the ultimate key to a healthy heart. You can’t keep letting bad actors and a heartless world attack and damage your core. But you also can’t let them sucker you into hiding or building impenetrable walls around humankind’s most valuable asset. So, avoid toxicity. And don’t pollute. Therin lie the keys to emotional, psychological, and spiritual health.
We need a balanced conscience, too. Character-impaired folks often have grossly underdeveloped, even absent consciences. Their victims often have overactive, even oppressive consciences. That often leads to being overly accommodating and overly conscientious, inadvertently “enabling” the dysfunction of a character-impaired partner.
I talk more about balance issues on the latest installment of Character Matters.