Monday, November 28, 2011

The Heart of the Matter

I was listening to some tunes on my walkman yesterday when "Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley came up.  Part of it goes "I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter, but my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter..."  I was singing away (in my head, no sense torturing everyone in the house) and thinking "You know what... that's so true"  I start thinking about why I do the things I do, why I don't do the things I want to and all that kind of crap thinking if I could just get to the heart of the matter, I could fix myself.  Then my  resolve weakens and I start making excuses or my mind starts wandering to all kinds of different stuff and I solve nothing.  Maybe solve is the wrong word, I discover nothing.  I can't seem to put my finger on what goes on in my head that creates the problem.  I've tried to see some cognitive distortions in my thinking, sometimes they are easy to find, sometimes not so much but either way it doesn't seem to help.  Maybe my inner critic is too loud and too strong, mostly it tells me I'm just lazy and that sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I don't want this to sound like a lot of whining and self-pity, it's not meant that way.  I'm just saying that when I try to get down to the heart of the matter, my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter.  How much does the heart of the matter really matter, wouldn't it be great if I could just move along?  Who cares what the heart of the matter is?  Let's just get on with it.  Right?  Right?  Please tell me I'm right here.


  1. You are essentially correct. Often it is the fear of the unknown - perhaps you worry that it won't work out and as a result you avoid having to feel awkward in front of others.

    So, rather than feel awkward, try doing things without telling them. Or, as Nike so aptly puts it, "just do it". Start small and I know you will amaze yourself.

    You were one of the most intelligent people I knew in high school and university and I highly doubt that has changed. Without doubt, you will experience a few flops - laugh at those flops and move on. Don't over-think it; give your sharp mind a rest and just start.

    Stephen DePaoli

  2. The heart of the matter -- or the essence of things. Maybe that's what therapy is about. Talking until you get you there, to the heart of it all, and then once you know what lies there you can fix it? Don't know, but I think you are on to something here.