Big Decisions Part II: The Head & The Heart
The rational and emotional parts of ourselves become locked in battle when we're trying to make a big decision. Sometimes we veer towards logic: we review the data, we weigh and measure the risks, and we review everything in a clinical manner. Sometimes we veer towards emotion, or intuition– we just feel like one choice is better than the for a reason we can't quite articulate. How do we balance these two extremes and make a decision we feel good about?
I had always known that someday I would be a mother. I wanted to have two children because, being an only child myself, I had always admired the family dynamics amongst siblings, especially the ones who were protective, caring, and close. And so as I grew into a young woman and explored relationships with different men I would often ask myself: “how would we parent our children?” This question became a useful guideline for me to compare our value systems and aspirations, and inevitably, also often marked the beginning of the end of the relationship as I would discover that he was not “THE” one.
After turning thirty, and after a few heartbreaks and dating setbacks, I was strongly considering artificial insemination and becoming a single mother, because I knew time was running out. That is when I met Dennis, the absolute love of my life. It was the kind of encounter that was serendipitous, unquestionable. I knew that we were meant to be together. I felt like I had finally found the missing piece, the home I wanted so badly. The only conundrum was that Dennis could not, and did not want to, have any more children. And so I faced a decision I never thought I would have to make: To have a life of love with my soul mate, or to have a child, without the love of my life.
The Head and The Heart
In Part 1, I talked about the benefits and roadblocks we encounter when we seek others’ advice about our big decision. How do you know which advice to keep and which advice to leave?
The clarity you seek comes from being honest with yourself about who you are. For example, if you want to leave your 9-5 job and consult a friend who did just that, some of their advice might really resonate with you, and some might not sound quite right. Perhaps your friend is very comfortable with taking high risks and has a clear-cut idea of what she wants to do, whereas you have a family you need to consider, and you realize you would prefer an easing-in style of changing careers, where you take courses and maybe take on a few clients while slowly decreasing hours at your current job. See, even talking with someone who is very different than you can make these things clear.
In my case, some of my friends wanted to have children or felt the need for children in ways that I didn’t relate to, or their goals were so different than mine that it impacted how I later considered my decision. Coming clear with who you are and what is true for you is a mixture of head and heart. Sometimes, framing your situation a certain way helps you decide intuitively, on an emotional level, to go in one direction– it might just not feel like the right thing.
Most often though, our rational mind wants to rule our life. We have learned from very early on to make “smart” decisions, and rarely were we encouraged to listen to our intuitive self. I have found that the heart never lies, while the mind can play tricks on you. To know if you are operating from your true heart’s desire or your logical, sophisticated mind, observe your body. The signs could be mild uneasinessor physical symptoms and pain. Someone once said to me that when we are in alignment with our soul, life flows. When we are not, life is uneasy. We have great intuition - learn to listen to your “gut”.
Once you have regained your trust with your intuition, you can ask yourself powerful leading questions to further your clarity when it comes to making a decision. I will talk about these in the next blog, so stay tuned!
Don’t miss Part 3 of Big Decisions, where I will talk about coming to grips with the realization that you alone need to make your decision. Learn more about me and my services or book a free discovery call with me today! I would love to hear from you.