When Decisions Feel Impossible
Have you ever had to make a decision that feels impossible?
Having a conversation with a friend this week I was reminded of a time not too long ago I had to make a really tough decision. At the time, it seemed like my world was ending. I didn't think I'd ever get through it or see the other side. I had no idea what was coming, no idea how I was going to make money, no idea how I was going to heal the relationship, no idea what might be next for me. It was all terrifying and unknown. The funny thing is, I'd forgotten about that moment. I'd forgotten how hard and impossible it felt. Being in that conversation took me right back to that space, viscerally. I felt the anxiety in my chest, my heart racing, my palms sweating, almost as if I'd been transported back 16 months in time to that moment. As I experienced those familiar feelings, I turned around in my living room to see the view of the mountains and the lake before me. I felt the cool air from the air conditioning on my skin. And in the same moment I felt all those feeling from 16 months ago, I also felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Feeling that fear again was such a wonderful and potent reminder for me. A reminder that there have been and will be many moments in my life where the decision before me seems insurmountable. I will have many moments of not knowing what is next, and isn't that life?
If we knew the ending, if we knew how things turned out, would we be as willing to take the risks? to do the seemingly impossible?
When we come from a place of knowing, we shut off learning, whether it is on our yoga mats in a pose or out in the world interacting with people. Here's the thing though: there is a LOT we don't know! We don't always know how our relationships or marriages are going to turn out, whether or not people will sign up for our programs, whether we'll be alive 5 years from now, if we'll have the same job or live in the same city. We don't know if how we are raising our kids now is going to feel irrelevant in 5 years, or how long we have left with our parents. So darn much of life is unknown. As I see it, there's two ways to take it from there: 1). Live in fear of all the things we are or are not doing and attempt to control what we cannot. 2). Learn to practice and cultivate trust If I'm honest, the first way often feels easier. It's easy to attempt to control everything and feel some semblance of order. It's also exhausting. Trust is more challenging. Scarier. Unknown. Trust means listening to the still small voice inside that sometimes seems crazy. I recently watched Raya and the Last Dragon. Spoiler alert those of you who haven't watched it! Towards the end of the movie, the main character, Raya is asked to take a leap of faith. She's spent her whole life in fear, not trusting people, pretty miserable, and wishing for her dad to come back. She's faced with a choice: Keep being in control and at war with everyone around her, or give up the control and trust in the task she's been called to do. She chooses to trust, and it brings not only her dad back, but so much more than she could have imagined. Raya thought she knew how to handle life and situations. She thought she knew what she was up against. Heres the thing:
When we think we know, we lose the opportunity to be surprised, and to be in wonder.
Raya choosing trust, choosing to let go of knowing what would happen if she took the leap, created a catalyst for the best moments of her life. She got to be surprised and be in wonder. The same opportunity lies in front of each of us: Choose the fear and the control, or choose to trust. The great news is, the choice is ours. It's always ours to make. If you're feeling like you're up against an impossible decision, know you're not alone. We all face impossible, heart wrenching choices in our lives. It's part of life, and it's an opportunity to practice trusting ourselves, trusting others, and trusting that the wonder and the surprise will appear exactly when we need it to. My upcoming program, Create Your Life, is designed to help you through moments like these. Get tools for becoming more aware, for focusing your attention, for building that sense of trust, and making impossible decisions feel a little bit easier. We start September 12th! Click here for more information.