January 17 – Thinking

Humans are thinking, feeling beings. This does not mean we should do one at the exclusion of the other, however. Quite the contrary; we should aim to let our feelings inform our thoughts and vice versa. In today’s society it seems we have come to value thinking over feeling. Importance is placed on rationality and logic. This can be seen in the way people, particularly women, are often stigmatized as irrational and “crazy” for being emotional. Having and expressing emotions is a valuable part of our humanity though. Feelings are there for a reason.

landscape photography of mountains covered in snow

On the topic of thinking, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

Thinking sometimes takes a bum rap in some circles, and it is over-exaggerated in others! As a society, we have become so lopsided in rational, logical, and linear thinking that many of us have become confused about the process of thinking. We are very dualistic in our thinking about thinking.

We have come to believe that we must either be cold, calculating, logical, rational women, or we must throw all thinking out the window and carry the load for all the feeling, intuitive aspects of our society. Either of these solutions results in a languishing lopsidedness that leaves us wanting.

There is nothing wrong with thinking. It’s the way we do it. Often, when we lead with our logical, rational minds, we have not allowed them to be informed by our being and our other thought processes of intuition, attention, and awareness. It is in the synergy among all these aspects of our mind that true thinking begins.”

Before today, I had never given much thought to the various aspects of our thought processes and how they work together. In fact, it’s not often that I analyze the thought processes that go into my own decisions. Certainly I would make better choices if I did, wouldn’t I? I tend to overthink things, and rarely do I allow myself to trust my instincts, particularly on matters at work. This is likely due to the societal programming to value rational, logical thought over feelings and intuition. Rarely is my intuition wrong though, especially when it comes to judging the character of others.

One of my favorite things about my husband, in fact, is that he is so in tune with his own feelings. He employs linear thinking often, and is quite logical and rational himself, of course. Yet he is also very aware of his own feelings and trusts his intuition more than that of others. I would say he has a very balanced approach to thinking.

You can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Thinking, just like anything else in life, requires balance. It is a method of moderation.

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