Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Are Your Emotions Clouding Your Judgment?

Have you ever felt like you were starring in a bad movie, and at some point you could almost hear a little voice in your head saying "how did things get to this point?"  Well, if it is of any consolation, we have all been there.  The key is how quickly can you find the way to gracefully exit Stage Left?  Sometimes the door is right there, but your emotions are clouding your ability to see things clearly, and that is why you either need to learn to detach from your emotions, or find someone driven by logic, who can calmly walk you through an escape plan- to a better place where you can see things more clearly.

As a divorce lawyer, my job is to hatch escape plans every day.  The reason I can do this so easily is precisely because I am emotionally detached from the situation, and I can rely entirely on logic and past patterns to forecast what will play out down the line.   Unfortunately, someone who is experiencing severe pain, distress, or is living in fear (whether brought on as a result of deep-seeded issues or external forces) is not going to be able to think or see clearly, and s/he will therefore not be exercising his/her best judgment.  To make smart choices, you first need to feel safe and find a way to calm down.

Once someone has an established sense of security, it is important to learn to let go of outcomes.  Years of practice have taught me that the more open you are to playing out various possibilities, the more flexible you are with your thinking, and the more you can adapt to changes, the better off you will be in the long run.  By being less focused on a particular end-goal, the more apt you will be to see other factors at play, such that you will be in a better position to appreciate the totality of the circumstances.

Learning to let go is not easy, but it is necessary.  While feelings of anger and disappointment do serve an immensely useful purpose by letting us know that something is not right, continuing to harbor such feelings is never a good thing.  You need to find out the cause of the problem and find a solution, accepting that your preferred solution may not be the one that actually plays out best.

Humility is what teaches us that there is very little we actually control in this world.  And it is precisely that humility that will save us, by allowing us to let go of the emotions that can cloud our judgment.

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