Monday, August 08, 2005

thinking and feeling

It's been a while since I last wrote in here. Thank you to everyone who kept our housing situation in your prayers. I now am (mostly) moved in to our new apartment and can begin to breathe now. Please continue to pray for my roommate as she recovers from her surgery.


I started this post a few weeks ago and finally finished it last night as part of my post-moving, ignore-the-mess-in-my-new-apartment, internet-free quiet time last night...

A few years ago when I took a Myers-Briggs test, I tested as an INFJ (as a sidenote, I think the J is completely wrong… I’m definitely a P). I was very upset to be an NF instead of an ST - intuitive and feeling instead of sensing and thinking. According to the test, this would mean that I view the world internally through imagination and intuition (N) instead of externally through the senses (S) and that I make decisions based on emotion (F) rather than logic (T). I thought that as a scientist, I should make my decisions through cold, hard logic and not be swayed by emotion. Either the test was wrong, or I needed to improve this about myself.

Was the test wrong? Each time I must make a decision, I think it through completely, weigh each possibility, try to analyze every possible outcome. Sometimes I make a list of all the pros and cons. I decide which path seems the best one to choose. Then I throw out the list and go with my gut instinct. For a scientist, I suppose I am as analytical as I should be, but I certainly don’t act that way.

I just discovered a reason to be happy with this. The few regrets I have in my life are when I acted thoughtlessly in a way that hurt people. The big decisions I’ve made, the ones I’ve thought about endlessly for months (or maybe just hours), I have never regretted. This doesn’t mean that everything turned out perfectly as a result of those decisions. What it does mean is that I had thought out very well what many of the problems with making that decision would be, and I knew that when I made my choice, I was accepting the negative as well as the positive aspects of all this.

It is very difficult for me to let go of things. If I do something wrong, it eats away at me for hours, weeks, maybe years. If I made a decision based on a series of 10 points, ranked in order of importance, and later discovered that point number 8 was incorrect, I would regret my decision long after such regrets were useless.

This is something that is true of individual decisions, but it is something that needs to be true of my entire life. For example, I may not regret dating that boy or asking out this one, or not dating this other, nor am I unhappy about being single right now, but the problems come when I begin to listen to everything else around me. I begin to wonder what’s wrong with me? Why am I the only single person I know? Maybe I should have dated that guy… I didn’t really like him that much but he *was* a nice guy… I begin to listen to all the voices that say I need a “significant other” to be complete, to live happily ever after. I know this isn’t true, but it’s hard to remember sometimes, and like Peter, I begin to lose sight of what I am doing. My faith is like this, too. I do not doubt what I believe, but when I am in the midst of talking to someone, it is so easy to justify things, to back off a little bit from what I really believe in order to try and soften what I am saying. I know how to make decisions unapologetically, to be firm in whatever I decide. What I want to do is to live unapologetically, with my eyes fixed on my goal at all times.

1 comment:

Pig wot flies said...

What I want to do is to live unapologetically, with my eyes fixed on my goal at all times.

Yes! I'm so good at soft-peddalling what I believe when talking to people, or just keeping silent when I should speak. The boldness to live fearlessly, but not arrogantly is something I need to learn.

And hey, you may be the only single person you know, but you're not the only single person in the world. I'm there too and in my current situation, just as unlikely to find someone 'suitable'. But right now, that's OK. And all those happy hooked-up people were single people once too, they just have a tendency to forget it.