Choices we make

I’ve been thinking too much lately about my life choices. Paths we take really do take us in one direction and you can never go back and try the other path when the one you chose frankly sucks.

I’ve been trying to see it all through a positive light, pushing through with a grim smile, dismissing the tears, taking it one step at a time, playing a waiting game, still having a glimmer of hope that the years of strife will miraculously one day feel worth it or I will experience a sudden enlightenment that makes all the pain disappear because I truly get that it all doesn’t really matter.

The years of forging through have taken a heavy toll. I am no longer me and find it harder and harder to see myself in myself anymore. I have no fight left. Giving up hurts as much as not giving up. There seems to be no escape and no reprieve.

In time I’m sure I will feel differently. But this is my reality today. Battling my own issues will never end but battling with another person’s issues, the realities of the NYC economy, being self-employed, and the extreme challenges of being a single mother with little support all at the same time has proved to be my match.

So, I have been dwelling on past choices – a most unhealthy activity.

Here are some thoughts on choices and attachments from my book:

“Disappointment is really our own doing. It is attachment to a created expectation, our judgment of how another should think, feel, and act. They let us down, but really we are letting ourselves down by allowing our peace to be so disturbed by our own mental creations.

The Dalai Lama explains, ‘Though strong emotions, like those of romantic love or righteous hatred, may feel profoundly compelling, their pleasure is fleeting. From a Buddhist point of view, it is far better not to be in the grip of such emotions in the first place.’* I had felt content and centered, stable and strong when romantic notions were far from my mind.

…It was a choice I struggled with. Wanting to find a romantic partner, make a family, be ‘distracted’ – or focusing only on the love of the Divine, forgo material concerns, and be content. I felt I could go either way.” (p139-140 Dancing in the Bamboo Forest)

I know I am alone responsible for my choices, I know I chose to disturb my own peace. I know millions of other people have a more difficult life than me. But I have come to the realization that I am not a strong person, I have hit my limit, I have hit the final wall. And that is just who I am. We don’t all need to be strong. I’m ok with that because I can’t be anything else.

*The Dalai Lama, An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 2001

10 thoughts on “Choices we make

  1. Hola, DJ.
    This post moved me and, believe me, I’ve been there. But know this: we women are MUCH stronger than we think and, just when we feel we’ve “hit that wall”, we are somehow able to walk/crawl through it and find even greater strength on the other side. It’s in our very DNA.
    Cling to your yoga and breathing exercises. And contemplate the amazing eyes of that beautiful little boy next to you.
    Peace will come soon….I promise you.
    Big, big hug of solidarity,
    Carmen

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  2. Dear dear Mitra,
    Its so amazing to read your article.Its almost as if i wrote it! Feeling exactly the same. Just very very tired…of trying to make sense of all thats happening…of staying positive…of the emotional roller coaster rides that come along when you are least prepared to handle them.
    Everything has been given…yet there is emptiness! Love is all around
    yet feel lonely. Dont know if this is what is called the darkest hour before dawn??? Will wait to greet the sunlight…once again! I guess hope is not dead yet!
    Stay strong dear!!! And remember you truly are a beautiful soul😊

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  3. I hear you and understand deeply. It is very painful to reflect on our choices and wish we’d chosen a different path. I feel like this every day of my life and suspect I always will. I try to accept where life has taken me but that doesn’t stop the pain or longing. I really feel for you my friend. We can only do the best we can or know at the time but knowing that doesn’t always help. I think you ARE strong because you recognise your sadness, frustration and disappointment rather than denying them. It is also a deeply painful part of being human. My thoughts are with you.

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  4. Mitra,     This statement right here: “The years of forging through have taken a heavy toll. I am no longer me and find it harder and harder to see myself in myself anymore. I have no fight left. Giving up hurts as much as not giving up. There seems to be no escape and no reprieve. In time I’m sure I will feel differently. But this is my reality today.”   I exactly how I feel… most of the time.      I hope you can pass through this phase as well as can be.  Please call me if you ever need to talk.  I’m wishing you the best. Mosi “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that ain’t so.” – Mark Twain

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  5. From the comments it seems many can relate to your post – me included. A friend asked me this past weekend, what would it be like for you to be completely at peace with all the decisions you’ve made – no looking back? This was a foreign concept to me but I realize that to move forward I need to have this peace. And face my core belief that I don’t make good decisions for myself – that I can’t trust myself.

    Thank you for your courageous post. I feel there are many beautiful new things on the horizon. Much love!

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    • Thanks Aleya. It feels very supportive knowing I’m not the only person out there having this struggle. For most of my life I never felt regret about anything but always looked at moving forward and expected many more wonderful things to come along in life. The past few years though have changed that and changed me into a person who has a much harder time believing in the wonder of life. I write this blog as a reminder to myself to find the beauty, the adventure, the peace. Somedays I just can’t make that happen. But I keep trying. That’s all we can do. : )

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