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