I was sitting just close enough to the jetty in Westport, Washington so that a large wave would occasionally crash like thunder, and then provide a slight cool mist to fall down over me. It’s an incredible experience that is only understood by those of us who love the Pacific Northwest. You know, one of those days most of the world would choose to watch from a hotel or condo, but we rush outside. I find God’s peace in the constant roar of the Pacific Ocean, and the whistle that is formed as the wind flies between the rocks.
I was thinking about how I’ve chosen to make major decisions throughout my life. Sometimes praying. Other times being impulsive. And there were times I would seek wise counsel. However, I have predominantly chosen to lean into the F word when doing so. Yes, I’m talking about feelings. I am what I call a feeler. I have chosen to let my feelings lead me, which to be blunt…has often lead me to feel like shit. Because what the heart wants…the heart wants, but for some of us it is rarely leading us by gathering information and using logic.
And then it was as if my father decided that he wanted to make sure he had his say as I could almost hear his empathetic tone from Heaven, “I told you how to make important decisions all of my life! Remember, what did I always tell you?” “Yes dad, I remember what you told me” I nearly said aloud. “You always told me to remember the three T’s…Think, Things, Through.” “That’s my boy” came quietly into my mind, and just slightly over the sea lions barking. He felt so close that my eyes filled with tears.
It is our feelings that often lead us too quickly into or out of a relationship. It is our feelings that can cause us to purchase the vehicle for $50,000 when we haven’t even managed to put $50,000 in a saving’s account. It’s feelings which can cause some to haphazardly quit a job, relocate, or have the affair. We would have likely made the correct decision if we had just pushed pause, and remembered to think-things-through. There have even been times where my mind was screaming no, but I allowed my heart to push me down the incorrect path.
It was March of 2022 and I was lying in my bed relaxed with the fireplace lighting up the room. It was nearly midnight as a random thought came into my mind, “See if that morning radio gig is still available in Texas.” Now, let me tell you that my life was good! I had found an incredible place to live, I was finally located close to my son for the last part of his senior year, and my insurance business was booming. I could sleep in until 7 or 8 in the morning, work a few hours, go workout, and then return to work. And here I was looking to go back to getting up at 4 in the morning, working for a boss, and to relocate. My mind was asking, “What the hell are you doing,” but I felt like I needed to apply for a morning show job in Texas. And within 48 hours I was on an airplane headed for the interview.
From the moment I started interviewing to the exact second I accepted the job my mind was saying, “Don’t do it” but I felt I needed to take the job. And without too much detail let me say it was a mistake for me, and what brings me deep sorrow is that it was a mistake for the amazing people of the radio station. Ironically, my heart felt broken nearly 9 out of the 12 months. Thankfully, the Spirit within us can still get us where we need to be even when we initially choose the incorrect path. Meaning, I don’t believe God was in the decision, but He used it to move in a powerful way.
Let me give you something that’ll help you begin making decisions based on carful thought, and away from making decisions based on feelings. I recently learned this from the book, “Getting to Neutral” by Trevor Moawad. The first step to making the correct decision is to list your values on one side of a paper, and then your goals on the other side. Then flip the paper over, and on one side list the behaviors you need to have in order to reach your goals, and right across from it…the behaviors you are currently exhibiting. And lastly, take the time to truly think-things-through.
Where do you want to be? Where are you today? And what behavior must you bring to a halt, and which ones must begin to surface daily in your life so that you can reach your goals. More importantly, you must begin to live within your values. Not your parent’s values. Not your friend’s values. Not your significant other’s values. You must live within the values that define the person you want to be relationally, physically, spiritually, and mentally. When you move from feelings to thinking-things-through based on your values and goals…you will make better decisions. And my guess is…you’ll feel great!
The ancient teachings tell us that, “Wisdom says wait, and emotions (feelings) say hurry.” And with all of that being said I am going to end with encouraging you to focus on only one feeling. The one feeling you should always have about your decisions is peace. Yes, you may have some fear and anxiety about the decision, but there is true peace because it matches your values and the goals that have been placed into your heart.
I love you,
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