IT is said that choice is destiny’s soulmate. It is not pre-destined; you have a choice to accept or refuse one turn down the crossroads to the future or another.
By not choosing, we allow others to decide for us. If you didn’t make the choice, you can not blame someone else if you are unhappy.
As you retrace your journey, were you deliberate and impulsive? Was the choice made with your heart, mind or gut? Were you comfortable with your style of decision making or do you cringe?
Did you weigh the options, ponder the possibilities, brood, pray for guidance or ask your heart?
Every choice I make is a leap in the dark with the hope that I’ll land on my feet. With the notion that regret can only be for things you have done — never things you did not do but could have done — I believed in Hemingway’s “right decisions are the wrong decision rightly made (think of Bergman’s choice of Rossellini).
I always lived out my choices and never looked back (think of Lot’s wife) for a long time; though eventually, I glanced back with hindsight to see whether it was wise or wrong. In calculating risks, I did the best that one could. The Spirit asks for nothing more, so why should you?
I’ve never confused bad choices with wrong choices because we have all made bad choices happen when we embark on sinous stretches of self-destruction, usually with a smile.
You didn’t ask your heart or best friend for advice. You didn’t ponder, and certainly didn’t pray. Why is that so? Because on the deepest intuitive level, you know you shouldn’t even be entertaining the thought of this choice, but you want to do it so badly that even its badness doesn’t daunt you. In fact, it eggs you on. Even with closed eyes, you knew and saw that disaster was coming.
It is said that bad choices are made while we’re sleepwalking. Then, we wake up asking, “How could I have been so stupid?” Was that what psychiatrists meant by “coma choices?”
In a lifetime, I’ve made wise choices, good choices, strong choices, courageous choices and happy choices. For the brilliant decisions, we just don’t remember many of them.
That’s because we shrug off any good thing that arrives in our lives as if it were a fluke, a lucky break or a misdelivery. Certainly, I’ve never given myself credit — only when things don’t work out, only when I make mistakes and stumble on missteps do I feel responsible. That is when I can claim all the blames.
Many of us think of choice as a spiritual gift, a burden to be endured, not embraced. However, after breath, is there a more precious gift than free will?
At this exact moment in life, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, who you’re with. They are all direct results of choices you made once upon a time, be it 40 minutes or 40 years ago. From the time you got out of bed, made breakfast, brought the children to school and showed up to work on time, you’ve already made more than three choices before 9 am.
Think of having to make 365 choices in order to spend the distance between your dreams and having them come true.
The wrong choice is not necessarily a bad choice and we don’t know if it is wise or wrong until we lived it. We’re torn between the agonizing “should” and “shouldn’t”s in an inner debate that began to rage into melancholy remorse.
What we will be searching for are choices which gave the moment that made a difference in the trajectory of one’s life –through the successes and failures that define us.
Through the loves and hates, gains and losses, promises and pain, we bore one through the risks and ruins, tumults and triumphs that set one free.
We reflect on all the perfectly reasonable choices that derailed one’s dreams, as we try to brush off clinging and hiding half-truths which have haunted us all these years.
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