Grad Girl Diaries #8: Temporary Emotion, Permanent Decision

“Don’t make a permanent decision based on a temporary emotion.”

This quote came up on my news feed the other day, and it made me have one of those “Oh, this hurts because it’s true” moments.

I’ve rarely been one to speak before I think. Some may actually tell you I think too much, and it’s true. I’m a very thoughtful person, and a deep thinker; however, I often feel even more deeply than I think. It’s both a blessing and a curse, because I’m a passionate, empathetic person and I like that about myself, but at times it’s hard for me to separate what I feel I should do, and what I know I should do. This has become even more apparent to me lately during the difficulty of managing grad school classes, two jobs, and stress within my personal life. Looking back, I realize how close I’ve come to making big, long-lasting decisions due to big, short-term emotions.

Emotions, which seem so big and permanent in the moment, will eventually fade. It’s easy to let these feelings guide decisions, because we think acting on negative emotions will make them go away. But the truth is, if you don’t feel peace in your heart, there won’t be enough peace in your mind to make a wise judgment. 

Don’t get me wrong, emotions are good. I think everyone should strive to become more emotionally self-aware. And as a therapist there’s nothing I love more than to sit around and discuss feelings. God gave us emotions on purpose. Emotions and feelings act as red flags to let us know when something isn’t right, tell us when we’re overwhelmed, or overjoyed, and my most favorite, they connect us more deeply to other people.

And if you’re sitting there, reading this, thinking you’ve already made a permanent, poor decision based on an emotion and you’ve screwed everything up, you’re wrong. Some may not agree, but I am a firm believer that it’s never too late to turn things around. Your emotions are important. They may have gotten you into trouble, but that doesn’t mean you should feel less, you just need to think more. Use this as a learning experience. Go apologize to the person you hurt. Start chasing the dream you gave up on. And this time: Follow your heart, but take your head with you.

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