“The heart has reasons that the mind cannot understand” ~ Blaise Pascal
I made lunch and as I cut off the first slice of bread, I was taken back to my childhood. My mother forbade us to cut the bread and make off with the heel as soon as it was out of the oven. Her claim was it would ruin the rest of the loaf for other people’s enjoyment.
I am thinking back to my childhood when the aroma of fresh baked bread would try to overcome my sensibilities. This was not a moment for caring about the welfare of the rest of the loaf! My heart was solidly into that first, hot slice; slathered in butter, deliciously melting and permeating every little nook and cranny. My heart knew what it wanted and there was no help for it. On the other hand, my head would understand the consequences of that first slice. Consequences which had nothing to do with the rest of the loaf! But my, oh, my, that first bite would be fabulous! The debate would continue. Eventually long enough that the loaf cooled and the decision was made by default.
Now, some of you are thinking, “For heaven’s sake, just cut off a slice and eat it.” Savor the moment.
Some readers are thinking, “Don’t cut it. Your mom will be upset and that makes no one happy. Wait for it to cool.”
Some of you reading this are nodding in understanding of my dilemma .
I am an O.
When it comes to decision-making, people are A’s, B’s or O’s.
The A’s are the people who base their decisions on logic and facts. Academically. They like the clean thought process. No agonizing. Nothing as messy as emotions cluttering the process. Life works out.
B’s think with their hearts. They want everyone happy. Tomorrow is another day, with time for correcting mistakes, building on dreams. They have an awareness of life’s beauty and revel in the experience. Follow your heart, they say. The heart knows and there’s no help for it. If problems arise, they will resolve. Life works out.
Ahhh, but after all these years of wondering why it is so difficult for me to make the simplest decisions, I have come to an understanding. It is not because those around me are smarter. That they are more together than I. Or that I think too slowly.
It is because I think with my heart and my head. This makes me an O. Perfect you say? Life in balance as the symbol suggests? I think being an O is more difficult. The world does not work according to O’s. It does not understand how one can spend so much time thinking, feeling, analyzing. Decide, because it makes sense. Decide, because it makes you happy. Just decide.
Those of us who are O’s, make decisions logically and emotionally. It isn’t that we don’t ever make decisions, but we want to cause the least harm with the most success. What are the consequences? Who is affected? It may make me happy, but will it make me happy in the long run, if another is unhappy.
Those of us who are O’s are often not understood. Indeed, we are often misunderstood. Thinkers predict our behavior one way, never considering emotions. Feelers predict another and assume we will decide based on emotions. Both sides often falling into confusion when we do not fit the prediction.
Still, I will embrace my ability to not only think through an issue with data in tow, but also my ability to look at that decision and not forget it involves life. I will embrace the struggle to create a balance that will cause the least harm and the most success.
Some days, I will eagerly make that slice into a warm loaf of bread and partake of immediate, singular gratification. Other days, I will let it cool and savor its goodness right down to the last slice. My approach to life will continue to invite confusion.
Life will indeed work out.