Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©

That was what Alice said at the end of our counseling session: “The choice is clear, isn’t it?” I agreed with her.

I thought I was a good counselor in those days, and I was sure I had done a good job with Alice. She had come to see me because she could not choose between Charlie and Ted, each of whom wanted her to marry him. I carefully led her through the good and bad qualities of each.

Charlie was kind, thoughtful, intelligent, industrious, and caring. Ted was negligent, sloppy, unaware, undependable, care-free.

“The choice is clear, isn’t it? It has to be Ted.”

Alice had her mind made up before she ever came to see me. Her brain told her she should marry Charlie, but her heart wanted Ted, for whatever reasons. She needed to justify her choice, though, by seeing the locally well-known counselor so that she would have cover for what would look to her parents and all her friends like a bad choice.

People usually know when they are making a bad choice, but they want to do it anyway, because it satisfies their emotions even though it contradicts their brains. So they seek out some sort of cover—a person, a theory, something someone else did, a statistic, an anecdote—so that they can argue that they have a rational reason, when they really just want to make the choice that makes them feel good.

William James said, “Where the will and the imagination are in conflict, the imagination always wins.”


I tweet as yooper1721.

Spoiler alert: If you have read this column in the last 3 months, all that follows is old news:

Following the critical and marketing success of her first Young Adult novel, daughter Katie Kennedy’s Learning to Swear in America, is What Goes Up, a July 18, 2017 release. She is published by Bloomsbury, which also publishes lesser known but promising young authors, like JK Rowling.

My book, NOW THAT I HAVE CANCER I AM WHOLE: Reflections on Life and Healing for Cancer Patients and Those Who Love Them, is published by AndrewsMcMeel. It is available from Barnes & Noble, Amazon, etc. in hardback, paperback, audio, Japanese, and Czech.

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes decision making can be really hard especially when our heart and mind are at a conflict. Visiting a counselor in this case can help by giving us a different perspective of the situation at hand.