Committing to decisions and choices and people and work and places can be scary. There is this fear that once you have chosen something you can’t choose again or you are limiting yourself and closing yourself off to all these other options out there. And if we define who we are by the choices we make, that can feel restrictive too. All this pressure is created to then cling and hold on to our choices in order to feel like a whole or complete person.
I don’t know if it’s the same for you but for me I have this fairly constant fear of whether or not I am on the “right” path, doing what I “should” be doing. It feels like this pressure from what exactly I don’t know. I guess from some idea I have of what is above us. And I give all this responsibility to this unseen force, which for whatever reason I feel is judging my every move, tsk tsking about what I do and what I should do.
I also have this idea, when I’m scared at least, that I don’t know anything, I don’t know where I’m going or what I am doing. I stop listening to myself and what I want and start looking to others for validation and support of my decisions. I feel ashamed to admit that I also start blaming them if things don’t work out how I thought they would. They told me it would be ok so it’s their fault. Obviously all of this does not feel like it makes for a mature, actualised adult. But being angry or down on myself for doing this doesn’t really feel like it helps so I’m trying to accept and acknowledge it and be okay about it. A work in progress shall we say.
I think it’s probably a common fear to always want to do the right thing. But I don’t know why I care so much. Because is right and wrong really a thing when it comes to life? Obviously there are things that could generally be considered wrong (like for example committing crimes) but in general life choices, even if something doesn’t end up how we thought it would, are we meant to label it as wrong? Are we meant to berate ourselves and wish we had chosen better? Will that really serve us? I always try to support other people to hold the belief that they always made the best decision they could at the time. But I know it’s not always easy to trust that. Maybe another WIP.
Do we choose the things in our life or do they choose us? Are we in control or aren’t we? How much responsibility can we take on for what happens in our lives? I think we all probably feel differently about this and sometimes it will feel like we are in control and we can create anything we want and other times we feel like we are completely out of control and just have to go with whatever happens. I know when I feel calm and collected that I don’t really believe that there is this separation between what we want or who we are and those unseen celestial forces. We are actually the same. We are a microcosm of everything that is light and what we think or believe or choose or commit to is an expression of that light, wherever it goes, however it turns out. I also don’t really think there is someone watching us wishing that we would do better because I don’t believe the universe really operates that way. When I am clear, the whole fear of God thing just doesn’t really resonate for me.
At our university graduation, I remember our Chancellor saying how it’s important to stay broad and not limit yourself. I don’t think that means not making choices or commitments. Maybe it means making more of them. Committing to more and more rather than less. Following impulses and desires and trying on as many different things, personas, life choices as we want. Sometimes our commitments and responsibilities will feel heavy and we’ll long to give them all up and be free. It’s easy to see that grass over there and believe it is so much greener. But being free, having no ties or commitments and making no real decisions can actually not feel that great either. I think when we feel scared or nervous about the things we have chosen, it isn’t an indicator that anything is wrong. More likely it’s probably symptomatic of the ups and downs of life. And, as unfortunate as it may be, not everything is going to feel great all the time.
And I think it’s ok to change your mind, make new choices again and again. And not feel bad about that. Because you change and what you want might change and what you believe can change. And it’s all okay.
And if all of that feels too heavy, I know a place you can get away: