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Carolina on My Mind

Realizations about life, personal and professional

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emotion

The Intellectually-Emotional Conundrums of LifeĀ 

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.  

It All Begins With A Smile

After an especially challenging and emotional week, I found this in my Twitter feed.

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The message within made me smile. Not only should we smile, and help others to find their smile, but acknowledging the power of touch and personal connection as REAL factors that affect us every day.

I won’t say I’m the best at giving, but can definitely say with conviction that emotional energy, the kind that is found in a kind and caring statement, a friendly hug, an empathetic smile, an acknowledgement that I add value to a situation or someone’s life IS one of the most powerful forces affecting how I approach each day.

Days that are absent of this are difficult. Simply put. I understand too that giving to others is fulfilling in itself. My emotional cup though, still requires a lot of input before I can easily provide for others.

I accept your challenge Mr. Harper and hope sharing this will inspire others to do the same. How will YOU make SMILES happen in your world today?

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