I’ve been thinking about choices. Making choices, not making choices and the results of either option.
There’s a person in my life that I love very much. I was thinking about her this week and I noticed that she has chosen a current path for her life that I think is making her miserable. I could feel her sense of being beaten down and trapped. She doesn’t think she has any other option but to stay in her current situation. She feels obligated and she’s been manipulated into it. I was thinking about her and what I could do to maybe help her a little. I could see where this was headed for her and it’s not pretty. It involves a life of regret.
I recognized all of these things in her because I was in the same situation. I had made some choices in my life that were now making me miserable. I’d felt beaten down and trapped at times. I felt a sense of obligation to see things through and I was definitely resentful.
As I thought about her, I started thinking about my similar experiences. The good news for me is that I realized all these feelings about my situation and was working towards changing it. Unfortunately for this other person in my life, she had no idea that she had a choice and she could change it. So, how do we let ourselves get here and how do we make better choices? There’s a 21-year difference between my friend and I yet we’re both in the same situation. How is that possible? Aren’t I supposed to be older and wiser? Unfortunately, we’ve both been tempted and fooled into our situations by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. We’ve been manipulated. Someone’s played to our weak spot. For both of us, it’s the temptation of money and maybe some security along with it. It’s the comfort of the known versus the unknown.
As I think about my situation, I would much rather be a little uncomfortable in the unknown than feel manipulated and resentful ever again. The unknown is pretty temporary. Manipulation and resentment sticks to your soul and it hurts. It weakens you and leaves you feeling beat down, uninspired and unable to take a single step.
So how can I make better choices in the future and ensure I don’t get lured in again? I’d like to say that you start to recognize it coming after you’ve gone through it once but the costume gets better and prettier. It comes down to knowing who you are, what you really want and feeling it in your core. As you’re more certain of yourself and what matters most to you, it becomes easier to say “no” to all those pretty offers.