“We make our own prisons, line them with guilt and regret, then place misguided morality at the gates to guard the way to freedom for our soul.” – A dear friend
Someone very special and close to my heart wrote this and it couldn’t be more perfect for the situation I’m going through right now. This person probably knows me better than I know myself, and on any given day can make me smile and laugh like never before. It’s really and truly been the best medicine; more so than they’ll ever know. I normally don’t post personal things because well…they’re personal. And I won’t go into great detail now, but I will share what I have learned in the past week and a half. Life is short. Very short, in fact, and definitely not long enough to be weighed down with endless guilt and regrets.
Sure, we’ve all had experience with both, as they usually go hand in hand. One really doesn’t exist without the other. It could be something as trivial as a bad perm (which I definitely regret) and the guilt that consumed me afterwards (for chewing out the hair stylist), or it can be on a much grander scale; something that drops you to your knees and you have to struggle to catch your breath. My most recent “predicament” has been the latter. I have truly struggled with a life-altering decision, and not just for myself; which really complicates an already seemingly impossible matter.
There’s a very annoying, gnawing voice; screaming for me to make an otherwise easy choice, consequences be damned. And truthfully, the selfish part of me is on board whole-heartedly. No question about it. But the tricky part is that fickle thing called guilt. What I know to be right, and quite simply what I want to be right. There is a difference. The problem is, sometimes what you think you want isn’t always what you get. Sometimes what you get is the complete opposite of what you need. There is no easy answer, and the chaos that could ensue based solely on one hasty decision could be catastrophic; or it could be the best thing you ever decided to do. The kink in all of the misery is that until you’re brave enough to make that choice, you’ll never know. You can’t fail or succeed, and the rut your stuck in so deeply will eventually suffocate you. It will drown you in woes of “what-if’s” and “should haves”. There’s no way to know, but it’s scary as hell either way.
I don’t quite know what my decision will be. I’m not to that point yet, though I know I can’t put it off forever. What I do know is the heart can be a fickle thing. One minute it’s pulling you one way, and the next you’re going in a completely different direction; caught so off guard that the air gets knocked from your lungs. Sometimes there is no right or wrong answer; just simply a choice made under the impossible circumstances you find yourself in. Whatever the case may be, don’t take the easy way out just because it’s easier. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. And chances are if something has been on your heart like it’s been on mine, there’s a reason. Not necessarily to make you feel guilty or to have regrets, but simply to remind you that life goes on. You can’t help it and you can’t avoid it, so might as well get comfortable with it. Logical or not, it just is. Don’t let the regrets keep you from the one you’ve never forgotten. There’s a reason they’ve stayed with you for so long.