Friday Question: Conflicting Parts

It’s Friday, hooray!

For those that have been around for a while, you know the system – I ask a question of reasonable depth, and you, in turn, answer with your reply. I love hearing what you have to say, but I love even more when you discuss amongst yourselves. I want some debate, people!

So here’s the question: what do you do when parts of yourself are conflicting? Our lives

Torn logo

Torn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

are full of decisions, of choices that we have to make. Often times it’s one or the other. It’s this or that. You can’t do every career, specialize in every art form, every field of study. The world is just too big sometimes. Life can seem like a long hall-way full of doors and let’s face it, sometimes it’s difficult to pick one and follow through. You have to wonder what’s behind all those other doors you never took. But the next thing you know, the oppurtunity is gone.

What if you feel two things, perhaps two different religions resonate with you, or maybe your wants/desires cannot coexist with each other (I want to travel to two cities, but only have the money to go to one). What do you do then? What do you do when you feel split, when you’re internally torn?

I’ll be back tomorrow!

–mrprose

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33 thoughts on “Friday Question: Conflicting Parts

  1. It depends on the type of conflicting things. If it comes down to day to day stuff and decisions, I always rationalize everything, I´m a nerdy practical guy, so there´s always a single choice that makes the most sense.

    It gets more complicated if it comes to feelings or doing things that are outside of our comfort zone. I know I should do something, say something otherwise I´ll regret it, but I´m always torn between two paths – the safe one and the one outside of my comfort zone. Of course the safe one is boring and wont teach me anything and I´ll miss out on things, so, as I´m aware of this now, I push myself to do more things. But it´s always a battle inside my head, although now I have a good counter argument to the standard “it´s too risky, it´s not the right moment etc” kind of safe excuses….

    One of my ways of making the decisions easier is this blog. I use it as a forcing tool on myself 🙂 http://www.lukascech.wordpress.com

    Making decisions like these is easier if you accept whatever the result will be – even if it´s a wrong decision, it´s always a learning process. Once you look at it this way, you won´t spend that much time torn between two options, but just make a decision on the spot.

    • Another great post Mr P 🙂

      Being torn – now that’s an emotion and feeling I’m familiar with. Like Lukas, for the day to day stuff I take the rational sensible approach after weighing up what’s practical or feasible. That’s the easy bit!

      The bigger challenge is when it’s a deeper issue, like love or something that perhaps doesn’t fit with my faith or culture – I have spent a lot if time being torn between my head and heart; that is what I should do
      according my faith, my upbringing and what I want to do, what my heart desires. My head and heart are often in conflict and it’s so very tiring having a constant internal battle. 

      I feel like I spend a lot of time doing ‘the right thing’ – in terms what others expect and accept. My hopes, dreams and desires kinda go on the back burner, this essentially roots from wanting to please others and not disappoint my family, and to stay true to the faith and beliefs that have been instilled in me. Not drinking, not eating certain foods, praying, fasting, observing certain traditions? No problem. I welcome practising my faith in these ways. 

      What I struggle with is when my emotions are involved… You can’t help who you fall in love for example. I struggle with those emotions the most. Fearing that I simply cannot fall for someone my family and culture wouldn’t accept as its just not the done thing. Now you might be thinking, it’s the 21st century and everyone should be tolerant and accepting – yes, absolutely, but sometimes the new and unknown is not easy to accept when you’re bound by strict moral, cultural and social codes. It’s a battle… I’ve gone against these ‘codes’ a couple of times, choosing to follow my heart but this brings its own complications and I spend so much time worrying or distracting or worse – feeling guilty. I have to decide what is most important: my life/love or my family/culture/faith. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to separate them as they are so intertwined. Perhaps I’ll always feel torn? 

      X

      • I think someday you’ll find the balance you so search for, provided that you don’t give up. It may seem farther away than it actually is.

  2. Obviously, inner conflict is more complicated than it seems. For me, if I see the two opportunities as equally desirable, I choose which one would effect others for the better. This is probably a backwards order, I should actually consider others’ gain before mine, but the question was what I do, not what I should do.

  3. I have actually decided that I don’t have to decide. If there are conflicts in my beliefs, feelings or realities, I allow them both to be true. I can be both angry and happy, a Christian and a new ager and a grieving a loss and happy to have it gone.

    • I’m amazed you can live that way. I suppose some can. As for myself, I don’t feel like I’m in a place where I can quite do that. It’s really difficult for me to just feel like that.

  4. I feel torn about a lot of things, a lot of the time. You can only live one life, but there are so many interesting paths. You have to live for yourself but you are blessed to love and be loved by other people. And the more open your mind is (travel helps with this) you come to see that there are actually many right answers, depending on what your core beliefs are. So my answer is, you have to figure out what YOU really believe and are willing to suffer for and not necessarily get what you want, and then follow the course that upholds those principles. For instance, when you ask yourself whether you should ask your crush on a date or not, you can think of a thousand different reasons why it is strategically a good or bad idea, but what it comes down to is whether you really want to do it at that moment and if putting yourself out there is worth it to you, even if there is a chance of failure. I think that feeling torn within ourselves on two or more good options with predictable outcomes can be a difficult conundrum, but once you start adding unknowns like other people and unpredictable outcomes, things get even more difficult, and you need to listen even more to your inner knowing and deepest principles.

    • Your comment really resonated with me. I agree with every word. It’s hard, though, when your mind gets in the way, when you tendency to think and analyze prevents you from feeling and using that as a guide. But you are right, it goes down to the simple little question: is it worth it to you?

      • The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master.
        Having lived the indecisive quarter life crisis and made myself so unhappy because of indecision, I think that, especially as a LIbra, every day is a small battle to make choices, large and small. Hopefully we can use our existential freedom to make our lives better, or to at least own our mistakes, rather than being paralyzed by indecision.
        I think you’d really enjoy the book The Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar, it really made an impression on me. Also, Harvard Business Review has tons of articles about how to apply a managerial perspective (business is essentially the art/science of making decisions and executing them) to lots of life choices outside of business. The book How will you Measure your Life? is a prime example that grew out of a lecture/article for HBR. Hope that helps, and glad what I said had meaning for you.

      • I’ll be sure to check out the books and the business review thing. I share your difficult in deciding on many things, and yes, the mind is a terrible master. It not should not ever be the master of my life.

  5. Great comments. No easy answer. I pondered this basic question as I read through the comments… I am going to try and answer honestly here (which is difficult). I have come to believe there’d are no all right or all wrong answers out there. What mjthecreator wrote above really resonated with me. The hard part is remembering or finding what is important to you. Not what you have been programmed to believe is right for you.
    Non emotional issues are fairly easy, I will make a list, and my decision usually comes fairly easy to me. Emotionally based decisions….those are tough. I find that I lead with my heart more times than not, and whatever the repercussions I seem to bare them unconditionally. This ends up being slightly self destructive, unfortunately. Although, in these situations I have convinced myself that I knew what the negative could be. I chose with my heart so I then must bear the brunt of the fall out. Sorry for rambling. I am sure what I was meaning to say was in to thick of a personal code that my point was probably lost. Living in two or even sometimes three worlds to have all that you want, when society says you need to choose can cause you to live your life in code…based on fear of being who you really are. I think that is why I hope you continue to blog and stay focused on what you know and believe. Thanks for the contemplation this morning… I also think I may have uncovered my fear for the day (in regards to my blog this week).

    Good luck

  6. I suppose I have many different ways of deciding. Some days I’ll be like, what the hell, I’ll flip a mental coin! That coin always lands after your heart’s desire… Like the other day, I had two choices. Go home earlier and do some school work, which I really needed to do, or go see a friend I hadn’t seen in over a month. I was torn, of course, but I said what the hell and I went to see my friend. As I had known, that resulted in schoolwork in the middle of the night later on…

    Another way is to weigh pros and cons, in cases like when you’re deciding what to spend your money on or where to go on a holiday.

    Some days, I avoid decisions, because I can’t handle them that day.

    Some days, my mind will make decisions for me and it just takes me a little while to realise I’ve actually already decided, like when I saw a pair of shoes a couple weeks ago.

    I liked the shoes, not so much the price tag. I thought “It’s a shame they’re not a little cheaper or I would have bought them” but after looking through the whole store, I came back to that shelf. I thought, “I’m just going to try them on…” and ended up buying them in the end… My mind had made the decision, but allowed me some time to get used to the thought that “I’m going to spend money on unnecessary, pretty shoes I am not even going to use that much even though I was supposed to get sneakers”. Isn’t it neat how the mind can fool itself?

    At other times I’ll ask friends for opinions, and yet others I’ll actually flip a coin. You’ll know what to do when you get happy or disappointed about how the coin lands. It’s a great trick for finding out how you really feel.

    • I realise I sound a little superficial… When it comes to emotions, though, there isn’t much conflict. No religion or anything like that to get in the way of doing what I feel like (when it doesn’t hurt anyone, at least).

    • I like your answer, but by your answer, it seems like you rely quite a bit on mental decision-making. A mental coin does not necessarily mean you’re taking your hearts path. It could just be your head making a decision for you. Otherwise, great answer, seems like you have it worked out.

      • Yes, I imagine that could happen, but I don’t think it does. I mean, if my head had that strong an opinion on the matter I wouldn’t need the coin, and besides, sometimes when the coin “decides” something it’s what your mind wants, and you feel relief in your heart as well. There is never a clear path to follow, what is right today might be wrong tomorrow, and all that.
        So maybe the coin is, more than anything, a way to know what I want right NOW, here, this instant.
        I don’t know. I need some coffee. Haha.

      • Hey, whatever works for you works for you, and it seems like it does. I just know from my own experience, the mind’s wants and what your heart will whisper to you are not the same. Maybe it’s just me. Hope your coffee was good haha.

      • Yeah, thank (insert deity of your choice here) that we’re different xD I don’t know, maybe I’ve been fooling myself all along… we can never really know =)
        Thanks for a great post anyway and have a good day =)

      • Yeah, and you know what, I’m certain I don’t have everything down in my mind, so having engaging conversations helps me find what I believe on this matter and that. So thank you too!

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