I am probably one of the slowest decision makers on the planet. I need to look at every road, compare and contrast all the options, play out how each choice might transpire. It is really exhausting to be honest. Buying a new appliance can take me months. Therefore, imagine when I needed to make the choice to stay in my marriage or leave. You would think I would have pondered it for months or even years…but that is not how it happened for me.
He had moved out for a short while when things were not good with us. Out of the blue, he appeared one day, without notice and started yelling at me. He was cursing that this was his F-ing house and his F-ing bed and I could stay or go, but he was coming back. What would you have done if you were me? Since we all have different past experiences that make up our current truths, I had to do what was right for me in that moment given my past.
My mother has been married three times. The first marriage was full of physical, emotional, verbal abuse that I witnessed often as a very young child. I remember one day my Dad had broken down the bathroom door and pulled my Mom out. He was holding her down on the ground in a choke hold. I came out crying, he looked at me and started yelling , “Do you want me to kill her? Do you want me to kill her?” over and over again. I think I was about five or six. The next few days, instead of buying a new door, my Mom and/or Dad somehow wood glued that bathroom door (which was right in the middle of the house by the family room/next to my bedroom door) back together. It had to have been in four or five large pieces and they glued it back together?!! They didn’t even paint it – I could see the glued veins of the door and so could everyone else. It was a constant reminder for me of how someone can break your heart and while they can try to glue it back together, it will never look whole or new again.
When my ex came into the house that day and started on his rampage, also banging on one of the doors (flashback) to try and pull out a college student who was living with us because he was so jealous of my relationship with him, I knew I had to leave. I needed a place that was mine, when my kids and I could be safe from whatever rage my continue to brew up in him over time. I was not going to end up in the same position as my Mom and have my kids live with the same broken door scars as me.
The Universe heard my cry and within one week I found a house, across town, with alarms on every downstairs window and door. The owners were so nice and left me a couch, the washer and dryer, a fridge, and a bookshelf. I had nothing but an empty house and a fresh start on life. I was lucky to have saved some money to help me get started. Being in my late 30’s and literally starting over was so strange. I didn’t have junk mail, a measuring cup – or cups in general, a bed, towels, or even food. The salvation army became the place to shop! I did not care because the house had alarms and a bedroom door that locked. I was safe. It took a long time for this house to feel like a home, my home. My extended family thought I was crazy. Nobody knew the details and everyone just assumed I was going through a midlife crisis of some kind – and I suppose I was … more like mid-life awakening!
I am still not a great or even good decision maker. It still takes me a long time to “move” in any one direction. I get so caught up in the details that I often just stand still until I am pushed. I asked a friend who works on clearing out negative energy and restoring balance to your body (you would not believe the things I have learned about, which are out there to help us if we let them), “How can I be a better decision maker in my life?” I am paraphrasing here but her response was beautiful.
She said that when we are presented with options, we take one at a time and literally try it on. Think to yourself I am putting on (like a coat) option A and then just be still – sit – breathe – and FEEL. What does option A feel like in your body? How does your heart feel? How does your mind feel? How does your gut feel? Are there places where it feels off or does not fit? THEN, take off option A, leave it next to you and put on option B. Go through the same process. Do this for all the options, without judgement. One, if right, will fit you the best. And if none feel spot on, then its okay to just be still until the universe can show you another option. It is OKAY to NOT KNOW.
I would like to add that once we make the choice, and we move forward, then it becomes our past. We cannot change the past (although some theories suggest we can – still learning about that though). We should be kind to ourselves. Know we did the best we could have, with what we knew, and how we felt at the time. Today we still cannot change the past so stop thinking and worrying about it. The past is the past, and we need to forgive ourselves and others for the coats of choices put on and worn that impacted us and others in ways we felt were not “right”. Everything happens in perfect time. If we can be a little kinder to our own hearts, and to others, knowing that we are all doing our best, then we are Living Open and Valuing Everything, regardless of the coat we (or another) had on any one particular day.