How to balance emotional with rational

Image credits: Jeremy Bishop / O‘ahu, United States / Unsplash

Would you define me as rational or emotional? I keep pondering that questions as of lately. In general, I’m very aware and mindful of everything around me. I’m conscious of my emotions, of what hurts me, of what makes me happy.

Some people, though, mistake awareness with rationality. Having an understanding of what’s happening is different than what most people understand as being rational. In many ways, rational is the exact opposite of emotional. So, in a way, being rational is becoming a calculating machine. It’s someone that seeks control and thrives in the arid lands of logic where there is no space for authenticity or spontaneity. Everything is measured, everything is calculated according to a set of rules or standards.

I can be very rational, but I can also be very emotional. What I am though, is mindful of my current state. I don’t seek control, and I don’t look for logic. Awareness is the capacity of seeing things from the outside and letting things unfold. There is no judgment or reasoning, just pure acknowledging of what is. This awareness though doesn’t ensure you control, just understanding.

I’ve mastered many things about myself but, pulling myself out of a heightened emotional state isn’t one of them. This is one of the reasons why I try to avoid getting myself into such situations. I know I can get very emotional and sensitive, to the point that I get too exposed and get hurt.

Those emotions are who I am, and I can’t remove them, I won’t ditch that part of myself. But giving into them do exposes me terribly. Rationalizing them and trying to suppress them isn’t an option either.

So I’m stuck with riding the emotional waves, surfing that surge while affording some protection. It’s not easy. I don’t believe in playing it safe. Getting hurt is part of taking risks; I won’t deny my emotions in exchange for safety. But still, being too expose isn’t the way either.

But life sometimes has its ironies. Sometimes it brings people in your life that gift you with the one thing you need at that moment in life. People that can guide you and show you new ways of dealing with your shortcomings.

What I’ve learned so far is that, while I can be aware of my emotional waves, I can’t stop myself being dragged into them. Having an external voice that helps me find the way back is very useful, but that someone needs to be peculiar.

I don’t need someone that stops me every single time I go down the emotional rabbit hole. Quite the opposite, I like people that encourage me and ride the wave with me, like fellow surfers. At the same time, I need someone that acts as a braking system; A person that can pull the break and arrest my free fall.

The thing about these cycles is that I don’t bode well with sudden changes. Going from high energy to low energy in the blink of an eye isn’t possible to me. But what’s possible though, is to reduce the time I need to recover, to pull back.

Having a person by your side that shares the currents but can yank you out when you start to lose control is a blessing. The transition isn’t always fun, but if done at the right moment, it works wonderfully. The danger is in pre-empting my free falling too early. Sometimes, I need to make it till the end, allowing me to strike the right balance.

We keep thinking we need to fix our shortcomings on our own. It seems that if you seek external help, it diminishes you somehow. It renders you weak. I don’t believe in this. I don’t think asking for help is anything to be ashamed of. On the contrary, it’s the hallmark of wisdom.

Experienced people understand that no matter how much they know or learn, you can’t do everything on your own. Reaching for help and more importantly, accepting it, is the only way to grow and become a better person. Then and only then you can become helpful to others.

How do you balance your emotions?

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.