The Body wants to be free; the Heart wants to be loved; and the Head wants to be secure. The Head is the source of security. At our best, it gives us a deep, inner knowing that allows us to trust ourselves. However, when the personality gets hold of the Head, our thinking becomes disordered and unproductive. We don’t trust it.
The Head, of course, is also known as the Thinking center. In order to trust it, our mind must be quiet. It must see the world clearly. It must operate calmly and deliberately, but quickly, toward a reasoned outcome. When we can’t do this, we are overtaken by fear and anxiety.
Riso and Hudson suggest that a dominant Head center becomes entrenched between the ages of 2-4 when a child is beginning to discover their independence. In moving away from the pure nurture of early childhood, we must figure out what is safe and dangerous. Typically, a parent would guide us in this process, but those in the Head triad struggle to hear that guidance. Some become distrustful of guidance and become hyper-independent, not trusting anyone for help. Some become too dependent on their guide and seek authority figures throughout their lives. And some struggle for any independence, longing for the satisfaction of the nurturing parent.
As we have seen in other triads, the energy of those in the Head center can push outward, inward, or both outward and inward. The important thing here, though, is that the direction of energy depends on what they are fleeing, which is the source of their insecurity. The hyper-independent ones see the outside world as insecure, so they flee inward, gathering information to puzzle out until they can emerge in confidence and competence. They may never reach that point. Those who struggle for independence can look very independent from the outside because they are fleeing from their internal world of pain, loss, and anxiety. This sends them out into the world, seeking any kind of satisfaction to replace the true satisfaction of being with their nurturing parent. Finally, there are those who find both the outside world and their interior world insecure, so they flee from both. They seek authority figures to protect them from the outside world and to bolster their trust in their own thinking.
For all types, the personality formation around thinking traps them in strategies and beliefs. The personality is never quiet. It is always busy developing strategies to escape insecurity or ensuring conformance to beliefs to stay aligned with authority. But it’s never satisfying, so there is constant anxiety and fear that reinforces the personality’s hold.
In the Bible, God and God’s messengers often begin with the encouragement, “Be not afraid!” Somehow, we never get that – those in the Head center most of all – but we all have some core fear. Now that we have looked at each way of knowing, we can see how they relate and interact. In the Head center, there is a fear that the world can’t be trusted and we can’t be trusted to satisfy and be satisfied. In the Heart center, there is a fear that we can’t love or be loved. In the Body center, there is fear the world is out of control and we are out of control. But God rests in the center, in our essence, where all these fears disappear into the unity of God. Imagine God’s always open arms where we always belong, we can always trust, and we don’t have to be in control. That is where we find ourselves.