“Let me also state that it’s useful to look at your past in isolated moments set aside for that purpose and see what you need to see. Chances are good you’ve already done that. Then you don’t need to keep doing it every moment: it’s in your repertoire of acquired wisdom; it’s in your cells. I’m pretty sure people go over the past or hold onto it, refer to it, much more often than they need to. […] If you’re showing up consciously here and now, whatever you need to know and whatever you need to do to proceed is available in the moment.” Jaya the Trust Coach
The quote above comes from one of Jaya’s “Ask the Trust Coach” columns for the Wishing Well Magazine in Ithaca, NY. This particular column is called Five Facts of Life for the Muddled Mind and is an excellent response to a question about how to know whether one is remembering the past in order to learn the lessons it has to offer or hanging onto the past too much. (I highly recommend reading it in full.)
Although the person who asked the question was asking about times when someone is moving into a new situation (like a new relationship), this article brought a lot of clarity to me about a decision I’ve been struggling with over the last week that was unrelated to anything new. It really should have been a relatively simple question of whether or not I wanted to do something, but I was finding myself increasingly bogged down by all my analysis of my mixed motivations for leaning in the direction I was leaning in this particular decision. I just couldn’t find my way to the surface to make a clear choice. I kept analyzing and re-analyzing historical precedent to try to determine what I could learn from those situations to apply to the current question.
I was stuck in decision paralysis.
However, if I take her advice and assume that I have whatever I need to choose in the present moment, the choice is clear. There’s never been any doubt about the decision I wished to make; I’ve known all along that I wanted to run like hell away from the situation in question. I was just carrying around a boatload of “shoulds” from other people’s opinions and prior history and squeamishness about whether I was truly wanting what I want from the right motivations after facing so much of my own ugliness recently that I couldn’t let myself just choose what I wanted.
It doesn’t help any that I know there will be people who won’t like my decision, and the people-pleaser in me just hates to do anything that anyone might not like or might disagree with. In fact, it’s downright painful!
At the end of the day, though, I’m the one that will have to live with the consequences of my choice. And if I believe that what I’ve learned from the past is truly in my cells and is guiding my current decisions if I listen to it, then the most logical thing to do is to listen to my gut instinct that says this is not the right situation for me to put myself in right now and go with it.
And I think that was the right choice. I feel nothing but profound relief for having chosen this way, and that is the surest sign I know that I’m making the right choice.
A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.