“Never let what you feel make you forget what’s real. Facts over feelings. Don’t let your emotions overpower your intelligence.” -unknown
Learning the lesson shared in that quote is something that took me making a few really bad personal life choices in my early adult life and going through the horrible pain that resulted from those bad choices before I finally realized where I had gone wrong. It wasn’t until after I went through a divorce during my 20’s and then several years dating the wrong types of guys that I finally realized that I needed to stop letting my emotions dictate important life decisions and I needed to start using my intelligence that I had gained from the things my parents, and my grandparents, and my church leaders, and my teachers, and my mentors had all taught me along with all the personal study I had done on my own over the years. I realized that I needed to start studying out the facts for myself by doing my own research and gathering the right information – then I needed to actually remove my emotions from the decision making process so I could honestly weigh out all those facts and allow them to point me to the right answer. Then only after I had considered all those facts and used my own intelligence to see what answer they pointed to (again being devoid of emotion), then I needed to take that answer to God and ask him to confirm that this decision was right.
It may sound weird for me to suggest being devoid of emotion during that process but it is actually necessary because emotions have been proven to distort our thinking. Research shows that when our emotions are excited we tend to underestimate risks and when our emotions are sad we tend to settle for less than we deserve. Emotions tend to make us overly focused on what we want right now rather than allowing us to focus on what will be best for us long term.
I also believe God gave us intelligence for a reason – I believe He expects us to use it. He expects us to set our emotion aside and genuinely weigh out the facts of situations, using our own intelligence to recognize right and wrong decisions. I don’t believe that God will or does make our decisions for us. I believe He sent us to this earth to give us the opportunity to use our agency and our intelligence to make our own choices. Because God knows that the only way we will ever be fit to be a God or Goddess ourselves someday is if we have learned to use our own intelligence to make right decisions.
And I believe that once we have appropriately used our intelligence to make a right choice, we can then then take it to God and ask for Him to confirm it is correct. If it’s correct I believe God will give us a feeling of peace about our decision, and if that feeling of peace doesn’t come I think God is letting us know he expects us to re-examine the facts again and ensure we haven’t allowed our emotions to cloud our judgment.
“Never let what you feel make you forget what’s real” because:
“Tomorrow’s blessings and opportunities depend on the choices we make today.” – James Faust
~Amy Rees Anderson