This past week, I had to make one of the most difficult decisions of my life. I knew the consequences of my decision would have profound long-term affects with my health, my livelihood, and even the people I love and care about.
For me, the decision-making process has always been the most challenging, stressful, and anxiety-driven. So painful is the process that I will try to rush it just to make a damn decision so I do not have to think anymore. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve realized that rushing leads to dire consequences that cannot be undone. I’ve tried to go through the motions of the decision-making by reaching out to the logical rather than the emotional side to me. Logical side kicks in with me making a pro and con list, weighing out the quality rather than the quantity of the positives and negatives, and taking all the details I’ve given to create and find the big picture. All along as I am trying to make my decision, I hear my Dad’s sage advice: “Do not make long-term decisions on short-term emotions.”
I can now count on only one hand the number of people I turn to during the decision-making process. I know these select people have my best interest as they listen carefully and quietly, assess what I am facing and what I may endure based on my decision, and even help me with the facts and to make sure my logical side stays intact. I surely still do turn to my parents when I am faced with these adult decisions, but I no longer ask them: “What do you think I should do?” Rather, I present the facts to them and they respond with concurrence of the facts and add to them only to conclude, “Well, Mary, you always are going to do what you want to do. It is your life. You are a grown adult. You make the decision.” Yet, there is one hefty and strong side that I can never ignore and discount that gets even louder and bigger when I must make a decision: My intuition. I rely heavily on my intuition to balance out with my logical side.
Gosh, do you ever feel like it was just so easy when we were kids? We had the adults making decisions for us! I did not have to think! Yet, did these adults and especially parents know how their decisions would affect MY life or YOUR life? Yes, isn’t that a thought about how the decisions we sometimes must make for others have such a significant affect? When I reflect more, I do not want anyone making decisions for my life while I am of sound mind. It is frightening and trapping to have others constantly make decisions for us when we must grow up into capable adults to support ourselves. After all, we cannot rely on our parents forever. As we grow up, they grow old.
It is very difficult growing up and then growing old. Growing up, life gets more difficult and so the decisions become more difficult. Decisions also hold a different and much more intense meaning because we realize the consequences and their impact. Did you ever wish there was a crystal ball or some kind of screen that could show you if you had made a different decision how your life would have played out? I think the scariest thing about decisions is that we will never know if the decision was definitely right or wrong, but it was the best we could do at the time and for what the situation called for.
The thing about me, though, is once I make a decision, I do not look back, regret, or dwell. I make peace with my decision and propel forward that I made the best decision and did the best I could at the time. I brace myself for whatever consequences play out from the decision I made. Sure, I do wonder about the ‘alternate’ realities that I’ve mentioned before of how my life would have played out differently if I had made a different decision. Do you ever look back even after you made a final decision?
There is no doubt about it that the decisions we make affect our lives and others. There are consequences to every decision. There is a fine line of making and fulfilling a decision and not doing anything to see how everything will play out. I do believe the consequences will speak volumes as to if the decision we made was the best as could be at the time.
What was the first difficult decision you had to make on your own as an ‘adult’ and without turning to adult to tell you what to do? Have you ever had to make decisions for others? How have the consequences played out and affected your life and others with the decisions you made? Was there ever a decision you made that you wish you could take back? What is the most difficult decision you have had to make?
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,