Thursday, January 17, 2013

" Choices ... "

I've had choices
Since the day that I was born
There were voices
That told me right from wrong
If I had listened
No I wouldn't be here today
Living and dying
With the choices I made

I guess I'm payin'
For the things that I have done
If I could go back
Oh, Lord knows I'd run
But I'm still losin'
This game of life I play
Living and dying
With the choices I made

~ George Jones ~ Choices ~

Do you believe you are capable of making the right decision?  Do you feel confident and at peace with your choices?  And are you comfortable making mistakes?  

Tough questions ... but the truth is once we have made a decision we need to learn to be at good with it.  Not long ago I faced making a difficult decision.  My treatment plan.  I spent days and weeks worrying over the decision.  And I there are times I still wonder if I made the right decision.  At the time, I knew what I thought was the right thing to do ... but I wasn’t sure.  And I am not sure I could ever be.  How do you know what works unless you try it ... but at the cost of your life?

I have read that no decision is set in stone and if tomorrow we find out that a decision was disastrous we can go back and sort out the consequences.  But what if it’s too late and those consequences are irreversible?

I guess the real question to ask yourself is “Are you willing to live with the worse case scenario?”  Because it is not about how unpopular you may become with this choice but if the decision still feels right despite the consequences.  

Reflecting back, I l did look at other possible decisions but none of them felt right to me.  I had to be at peace with it and quit worrying over it as it was the best decision I could make in the circumstances at that time.  Generally we do the best we can at the time ... we move on and live with it.

So why the second guessing then?  Hello inner critic.  I believe that unhealthy inner criticism is born of perfectionism and trying to live up to other people’s expectations.  We experience harsh judgement of ourselves when we don’t accept ourselves as we are.  Just think how toxic it is when you have been berated by others until you believe what they said about you or you compare yourself to someone else.

When our inner voice is no longer acting as an objective voice of reason, we feel discouraged instead of challenged.  And when our inner dialogue turns from honest and humble to minimizing and belittling, we have a problem.

So how do you make peace with your inner critic?  We can start by focusing on our actions and not our results.  This is a real tough one for me.  You see my inner critic has been focusing on the outcome over the action, understandably.  But you learn and grow by doing ... and judging the results of your efforts keeps you from trying.  I keep having to remind myself to celebrate the accomplishments of my efforts instead of the outcome.

Basically, there are times you just have to push through the fear and criticism in your head because getting your mental “chatterbox” to simmer down is challenging.  Seriously it will never run out of material.  

So I am trying to look for ways to turn my inner critic into my inner guide.  I am trying to let go of what doesn’t serve and cultivate what does ... and then know it, embrace it, love it and let it melt into the whole of me.   Hopefully then I can be more at peace with my choices because with you know better you do better.

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