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  • Dr. Shelly Harrell

Weekend Wisdom: Wisdom of the Heart

Stop, look, listen to you heart, hear what it's saying. -Linda Creed and Thomas Bell

The wisdom of the heart sometimes gets a bad rap. Emotions are often portrayed as dangerous, that we have to "control" them. We put people down as being "too emotional", we are cautioned to not be blinded by emotion, and emotion is frequently set up as the opposite of reason or intelligence. While I certainly agree that dysregulated emotion can be a problem, we must be careful not to dismiss the value of the heart's wisdom. We must also be mindful that the so-called danger of emotion has been used to pathologize women, Black people, and other marginalized groups who are told to "calm down" with the intention of silencing and controlling.

Benefitting from the heart's wisdom is all about integration and wholeness. We must put what our heart is telling us in the context of our full experiencing of ourselves and our situation. We are best able to discern our heart's wisdom, when it is connected to our other sources of wisdom (body, mind, soul, spirit, ancestral, nature, elders, etc.), including the wisdom born of our own lived experience.

I invite you to take a few minutes for a music meditation and connect to the song origin of these lyrics. As you listen, allow yourself to appreciate the wisdom of the heart. (There are so many great versions of this song! Of course, the Stylistics' version is classic. I also love Angela Bofill's version, as well as the Will Downing/Gerald Albright version.)

With Peace, Love, and Soulfulness,

Dr. Shelly Harrell


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