I woke up a little heartbroken today. I awoke to the gravity of life-altering decisions that I’ve recently made. It’s hard to say whether those choices are right or wrong and I suppose I will never know. What is clear to me now is that I’m starting over, again. I understand that while there are choices I can’t take back; I can take responsibility. I believe that we learn the most about ourselves at these major crossroads in life and I’d like to spend some time reflecting on the lessons I have been learning as of late.
What You Avoid Will Make Itself Known
In this fast-paced life, it feels easier sometimes to push things under the rug. Be it overdue tasks at work, a pile of bills, or confronting internal struggles; nothing really improves or dissipates when you ignore it. Instead, I’ve found the opposite to be blaringly true. What requires your attention will ultimately demand it. Issues have a tendency to compound until you have no choice but to face them. What do you need to acknowledge? What have you not been honest with yourself about? Is there something you should be saying to someone you love? You may not be equipped to resolve this buried thing all at once, but I guarantee you’ll save yourself grief if you just address it now. In fact, I would say it’s better to look at these daunting things you’ve been avoiding without the intent to resolve them. Just look at them. Take the first step in moving forward; Feel it, write about it, say it out loud. Disempower whatever it is that has been quietly draining you by facing it directly and being honest with yourself. The longer you avoid something you don’t want to deal with, the more powerful and ugly it will become when it ultimately surfaces.
Thoughts on Faith
Every choice you make has an effect on something or someone else; on your life path. Even choices seemingly small and insignificant, like our daily habits and tendencies; or bold and significant choices…everything adds up. This reminds me of a lyric in one of my sister’s songs, “The Shape of Leaving”…
One drop in a bucket, doesn’t seem like much
But easy does it…
We’re all sums of what was and what wasn’t…
Is it just me, or is this sentiment a bit… terrifying? Is there such a thing as fate? Or Karma? Is something bigger guiding us? Or do we really just have full autonomy, and the ability to derail ourselves at any moment?
I’m not sure of the answer, but I do know that acknowledging our own responsibility for doing what’s “best” for ourselves (and everyone else affected by our choices) can be overwhelming. Sometimes all you can do is have faith that something greater is guiding you; faith that God will give you signals if you’re on the right AND wrong path. Instinctually, you do know. When things flow and are easier…when we feel secure and content; this is when we have found ourselves on the right path. Alternately, life is never free from struggle, but if the struggle is constant and your gut is telling you that this path you’re on is not yours; you should probably place some merit in that.
So then, there’s this need for surrender. A need to find the balance between the desire for control over your life and the necessity to let go.
There is only so much you can command, or even just wrap your mind around. Your life could go in so many different directions. Stay open, stay honest and root yourself in purpose; in a personal code of ethics that makes the answers to life’s decisions a little clearer.
For Better or Worse, Regret is a Powerful Motivator
Two of the scariest words, in my opinion, are “What if?”
Historically, it has been the potential regret of having not done something, that has driven my choices in life. What if I didn’t follow my heart? I think of myself often in my older years, reflecting on a life full of choices, decisions made or avoided. The thought of holding regret for not having gone down a certain path has always seemed a greater burden to me. So, for better or worse, I usually follow my heart, be it fickle from time to time. As I get older, and closer to this future version of myself, I find myself wondering more often … What if I had just stayed a little longer, in that place where I was uncomfortable? So, I suppose as I venture into this new chapter of my life, I will give that angle a try.
I’d like to close with some major revelation, but I don’t have one. I suppose my intent in sharing these thoughts is simply to connect. We are all uncertain from time to time. Life wears all of us down and no one has all of the answers. We do our best and we all wonder if our best is good enough, or right. There is no manual and we rarely receive tangible confirmation that we are on the right path. We live in relation to our connection, or lack of connection to ourselves; to our own deeper purpose. Be gentle with yourself in these moments of uncertainty. Turn to your faith. Ask for the support of others
I’m signing off today with a song, one I wrote to soothe my heart in one of these uncertain moments. I hope it does your heart some good too.