As time passes we all grow and learn. Recently, my noticing has revolved around the intersect of intellect and emotion.
I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person on any given day; one who is able to interpret data and make decisions based on conclusions gleaned from the data available; Calculated. Analytical. Measured. Planned.
However, as focused as I aim to be on the data of life, I find myself mired in the complex web of my emotions. I am learning that others in the world do not “feel” with the same depth and passion for ordinary events as I do. Although this is a rather reflective realization that helps me to better process, understand, and appreciate many aspects of my life, I find there is an equally blind spot to others’ perception of my rationally determined decisions.
With my recent journey I have been so humbled and honored and embarrassed as folks describe my decision as “brave” or “strong” or even “heroic”. For, in my mind, there was a data set that had accompanying outcomes and choices. It was from the data that I made my choice….not so much the emotion. I didn’t perceive my decision to be brave or strong, just the logical outcome to the algorithm of life with which I was presented.
So, it is in this space that I continue to struggle. Martyrdom has never, ever been on my agenda. Hence, it is such a challenge to graciously accept, much less discuss my decisions as “brave”, “strong”, or “heroic”. My decision, at least in my mind, was data-based and selfish (i.e. >80% chance of cancer without surgery +losing hair was not a formula with a positive outcome in my book). But those closest to me share their awe and admiration for my ability to make such a decision. Apparently I’m blind to the fact that many would rather gamble against Mother Nature than choose a proactive response. That with which many would approach with emotion, particularly fear or indifference, I approach with analysis and calculated logic.
I’m not sure how many others experience intellectually emotional conundrums. But for those of us that do, I want others to please just understand that we are thankful for your kind words and caring actions; that we are, like you, trying to determine our path. Only, our path is fraught with emotional hills and valleys within the land of data.