Mind Versus Emotion

Chas Lyons
3 min readJan 28, 2021

And the Winner Is?

A mentor in my inquiring adulthood once posed this question: Which is more powerful, mind over emotion or emotion over mind?

This was way before I could do an Internet search and have this answer pop up:

“Whereas logic is the language of the conscious mind, emotion is the language of the unconscious mind. We know that emotions are reactions to perceived and imagined stimuli, not based on logic, but on one’s own personal experiences. Emotions outweigh our logic.”

Of course, that would have been the right answer but maybe not the right question. Maybe it is not a question of which is more powerful, but can we find balance between mind and emotion?

I suspected that my mentor believed that mind had the capacity to be stronger than emotion, not generally, but preferably. He could have referenced these words from Marcus Aurelius who said, “You have power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

Emotions come in all shapes and sizes. Probably, tears is the one that we most associate with, not to overlook anger or joy or many other emotions.

Growing up in the Fifties and Sixties, there was something inherent in the culture that said guys don’t cry. I think that I probably went a little overboard in not crying following an emotional experience.

When I was age nine my dad was killed in an automobile accident a block from our home by a young man speeding through an intersection without looking.

I showed up at a funeral home one afternoon, saw him ash white in a casket, and cried in the corner all afternoon.

My Aunt Jo finally took me and my siblings home that night and fed us bologna and sliced tomato sandwiches on Wonderbread. And then, I went upstairs to bed and crawled inside myself. I was suddenly thrown into a sea of seven children, ages 1–10, and a widow trying to figure out how to survive.

Over the next several decades called life I probably cried four or five times; hence, going overboard. There was a failed marriage, an estranged daughter, finding God, a painful surgery where I became dependent on pain-killers, and the day that my second wife and soulmate battling Alzheimer’s Disease no longer recognized me.

I became a master at mind over emotion. As a CEO, a father, a husband, leader in the community, I believed that my…

Chas Lyons

Chas Lyons is a retired CEO and publisher of newspapers. He lives in Rhode Island where he enjoys writing, family, and escaping to a log cabin in Maine.