Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Decisions

Often in our life we are faced with a cross-roads. We must decide which path to take.



We can stand at a crossroads and look at wooden signs seeking direction. Sometimes those signs can read any of the following:
Lost
Confused
Unsure
Unclear
Dazed
Perplexed
Disoriented
Bewildered

You stand at the crossroads and wonder which way to go. You ponder if you choose a certain path, will  it be the right one or the wrong one. If you pick incorrectly, will you be able to call a mulligan, go back and re-do? If you select the wrong path, will there be another crossroads that helps you get back on the right road to the journey you are supposed to be leading.

Who helps you choose correctly? What decisions are we all faced with?

Love
Relationships
Job
Career
Travel
Family
Friends
Moves
Living Spaces
Health

Even things that may seem simple, such as what should I eat for my lunch today.... this would greatly affect someone like me who has food allergies. This could be a life or death decision for me whereas for someone else it is just a miniscule choice made in a second that they think not even a second about.

We wonder often when we are young what life is like when we get older. We cannot wait to get out of school to live the independent carefree adult life we see others living. We don't want anyone bossing us around and we want to be on our own making out own decisions. What we don't realize is all the sacrifice and hardships we will face to get there and all that we will survive when we are living that life we once thought was so much better than childhood or young adulthood.

The moments in college when we change our major multiple times because we just don't know what we will be best at or enjoy the most. We think the label of major on our degree will determine what we do for the rest of our lives and we don't want to be stuck in some mindless endless job instead of in the career we always dreamed of loving and enjoying. We don't have the proper guidance or skills to know or understand what the rest of our life is like, we haven't even lived a fraction of it yet. We are expected to make all these independent decisions about the rest of our lives, yet we have not nearly enough experience to do so. We are misled, misjudge, and misguided.

Once we finally graduate we dream of million dollar salaries, the perfect family with the beautiful house picket fence 2.5 kids and dog, the summer vacations, beautiful cars, etc. What we don't know about is the debt, bills, mortgages, love is not enough, kids are not perfect, parenting is not easy, dogs even when trained are just like kids and make mistakes, vacations are expensive and never happen the way planned, cars are only beautiful when they are in the showroom before they get spilled on scratched up door dinged and wrecked a few times.

Then when we are wiser adults and we sit pondering retirement - oh the joy of not having to serve the man any longer. The joy of endless vacation and R&R time. Time with family, loved ones, grandchildren.... what we don't think about is the money we should be saving now for that time so we don't have to suffer the same hardships we have always been struggling through. The dreams we have now for that future require planning and clear decisions that will lead to that life we desire.

All the while, we look back on these crossroads playing the what if game. We all have different questions we ask ourselves, but these may be some of them... 
What if I did better in high school?
What if I wasn't face with that abuse? 
What if I chose a different college? 
What if I hadn't had that abortion?
What if I fell in love with and married a different person?
What if he/she wasn't "the one"? Is there only one?
What if I didn't get divorced?
What if there was never an accident?
What if I didn't have kids?
What if I had more kids?
What if I didn't decide to move those few times? 
What if I had made a different career move?
What if we hadn't bought this house - or maybe a less expensive house?
What if I saved more or spent less?
What could I have done to be living a better life?

We sit back and waste time thinking on things that we cannot change - things that are no longer relevant in our lives, because the truth is... we cannot go back and choose a different path - we cannot change the past. We must focus on what we have - love those we have chosen - make the best decisions for our future - the ones that we will thank ourselves for later. Do not regret the past because we have grown from it and learned from it.

I say all of this to lead up to ....

I am the only one who can make decisions for me and my life.
You are the only one that can make decisions for you and your life.
We all are the one who individually must face our own decisions because they mainly affect us and our futures. We are the ones who must live with every choice we make.

Yes - we have family and close friends that we go to when we need to talk things out or sort through life because sometimes these decisions are just too hard for us to handle all on our own. But this is not an easy way out or an excuse to blame someone else when that advised decision turns you down a wrong path and you led yourself astray.

Ultimately we must all be guided by listening to that voice inside. For some it is louder than other,  often we don't hear it, sometimes it is screaming loud and clear, and other times it is a soft whisper - one that we have to pray and listen for intently. We were granted free will so that we would not be locked down or chained to a certain path. I have been blessed with the opportunity to choose my own adventures. I know sometimes they have not ended well, I have been left wounded, hurt, eyes tear filled, and other times just numb to the world. But there have been so many times I have been blessed by my decisions. I have seen that I have made the right decisions and I am on the right path. I know that when I am on the right path I will be blessed.

Sometimes we know that we are on the right path because it is obvious. Other times we have no idea. It is often obvious to us when we are on the wrong path. I just always remind myself that I have to be grounded and continually reminding myself to stay strong and continue on.

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