The Rational Versus Irrational

Posted by in Life choices, Relationships on March 8, 2013 0 comments

I had an interesting conversation recently about why people aren’t prepared to change, or possibly are scared of change, and it came down to rational and irrational thought.

‘Rational’ thought, as described by one of my fellow conversationalists, maintained the practicality – the longevity of a relationship because of it’s general nature with knowing the known, maintaining the financial status, retaining the family bond, understanding the idiosyncrasies without needing to relearn anything… essentially, maintaining the status quo.

Where as, ‘irrational thought’ takes you out of your comfort zone – there are risks, there’s life unlike a life you’ve ever known before, there’s a feeling in your heart that overwhelms you and it truly knocks everything ‘rational thought’ has to the ground. And in the reality of it all, irrational thought is what draws us to fall in love. It doesn’t matter if it’s our first love, the person we marry or the person we accidentally fall in love with when we know we shouldn’t… irrational thought is everything that brings two soul mates together. Every love is founded on irrational thought and feelings, there is absolutely no question about it. It’s why we fall in love, and it’s how we fall in love.

For instance, you love your kids. You will do everything to protect them. You find out that your son is the instigator of a fight that happened at school. You know this, but you want to protect him from being ganged up on, punished or being socially outcasted. You ask him his side of the story and he tells you that one of the older kids Brad said he was a ‘fat loser,’ but yes your son threw the first punch. You were happy that he was honest with you, and pleased that he did something to defend himself, so you will do anything to ensure that the school and the school community don’t victimise him in any way. So you take a stance… the stance is far from rational, because your know your son was in the wrong, but as a mother, you will protect your son till the very end, to ensure he is happy, not bullied and enjoys his school life…. and that my friend, comes from our irrational side of our brain.

However, when you understand that ‘rational thought’ – maintaining the practicalities is all you have left, and there is no irrational thought – warmth of feelings, joy and harmony, left in your relationship, you’ve come to the point of ‘acceptance’ – that this is all that’s left. For some people, it comes as an epiphany, and they truly have no feelings left for the person they once fell in love with. Resentment hits in, because they don’t want to be in this relationship anymore and fighting, bickering, ignoring, deserting, drinking and isolation happens more often than not, as they are the only coping mechanisms they have, because they don’t know ‘how’ to get out.

Where as, irrational thought, the passion that drove you to fall in love is what kicks in when you know it’s time to get out. You make it possible, you don’t think about the consequences that leaving will bring, you just know what’s not making you happy anymore, you take a stand and break away. You don’t care how much money you are left with, you don’t care what other relationships are affected, you just know that staying with this person, the person you had a rational relationship with, is not right for you anymore. Your ‘irrational’ decision makes you feel alive, makes you feel powerful, makes you feel like you’ve found a new you.

Sometimes, there is still a little bit of the irrational left in the rational relationship, and sometimes that’s all it takes to keep the relationship together. But if we didn’t have the ‘irrational,’ all we would have is arranged marriages, bitterness and a reality that is not healthy for anyone. For me, I’d take the irrational any day… at least I’ll know I’ll be happy.