Incisions and Decisions. Incisive and Decisive.

We all take some serious chances in life, within so many realms – physical, spiritual, occupational, emotional…and some turn out wonderfully. When you look back after that heart-pounding period of unassuredness and speculation, the triumph and pride from choices well-made – and shaky situations well-navigated – really bestows a true enjoyment of life and the labyrinthine network of junctions that it harbours. Makes you beam, and squeal, and shiver with appreciation.

And some of those choices don’t always turn out, either the way you expected, or how you intended, or how you naïvely figured. Sometimes you wish you had opted for the other choice, or other option of options. It leaves you cold with regret or self-admonishment when you feel you should have known better.

It’s the extremes, see. And this can be applied to any and every area of your life. Choices made, for good or for bad. Words said that had great effect, or words you wish you wouldn’t have said in the first place. Agreements broken, friends let down, responsibilities eschewed in favour of a quick fix of beauty or joy. Job taken or passed up, regulations followed, religious confirmation established. Doesn’t matter what, or why, but it does matter.

Sometimes I whip myself into a frenzy considering all the choices and the perfect ways to navigate them all. The unworn path of least resistance and negativity. I like to learn from watching other people succeed and fail, and it helps me understand what I need to do to do to do…and it’s the simplest things that make me scream with happiness or writhe with discomfort. There is no middle ground, and no easy actions. But I’m learning to accept the results of my choices with grace and dignity, and deal with the consequences that I, myself, enabled and made to happen.

The object of my life, in no uncertain terms, is to have no regrets about anything. To have that clean conscience, and to revel in life and how it feels to live it. I’m not unenthusiastic about much, and not neutral toward many things. And I’m happy – very happy, regardless of the relatively heartbreaking and detrimental things that crop up in the average lifetime. All of our lifetimes.

Sometimes, I regret my choices, as anyone does. I think I learn and then it turns out that my faith in Whatever – of which I have no control – was too great. But you can’t go back, and often time the permanence of these one-way streets turns out to be a blessing in disguise, even though it might take years to come to that conclusion. And you’d never know the other options, because you can’t go back. It’s like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book that you can never replay. How frustrating is that?

So I try to live my life without making any wrong decisions. It feels like a tightrope sometimes, and it’s very difficult to travel across for fear falling off. But it’s not really possible to do everything perfectly. It’s not realistic, and moreso, it’s not human. The tightrope is a construct of Self. A mirage, and a machination.

But the hardest decisions of all are the ones made with great regret, but ones that you unequivocally know you’ve made for the right reasons. And I’ve been thinking about some of those lately.

14 Responses to “Incisions and Decisions. Incisive and Decisive.”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    May 25th, 2004 at 3:11 pm

    "I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestioned ability of a man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor".—Henry David Thoreau
    That encompasses my intended response in its' entirety…

  2. lilitufire Says:
    May 25th, 2004 at 6:53 pm

    I do the same, I think. Try to live my life without regrets, and learn from the not-so-good choices. Understanding why you made them sets you free, I think.

  3. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 27th, 2004 at 10:48 pm

    Yup, I agree,

  4. spiffington Says:
    May 25th, 2004 at 8:09 pm

    I feel touched by this no end because of the particular period I find myself in at the moment…
    Not only from a personal point of view but, from a point of view in which *we* have shared our thoughts on different matters and issues which are affecting us, past and present.
    I feel I understand implicitly what you mean, and more of who and what you are as a result.

  5. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 27th, 2004 at 2:42 am

    I imagine that all of us, at some point or another, think about these things. I mean, we're all cognizant of the choices we've made, and sometimes we regret them, or wish we could have gone the other way. And there's a certain tragedy involved with things that you leave behind for good reasons, but with assuredness of purpose.
    Those are the kind of things that I'm talking about. And I know that you think about them, too.

  6. seolta Says:
    May 25th, 2004 at 9:15 pm

    It’s like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book that you can never replay.
    Ouch! How resonant is that?! As a teenager, i could never bear the idea of the wrong choice, so even though i knew it was cheating, i went back and 'did over' until i got it right or worse still…checking ahead *shame*
    As an adult, I agonize over nearly every twist and turn in the road long before i get there and often end up camping out at the crossroads for fear of taking the wrong path. And whilst the sojourn can be pleasant, i sometimes feel that i am missing something important or that in my delay, the bridge i was worrying about has been swept away and a new one built a mile upstream amking all my consideration futile. This lack of momentum is something that i am conscious of and am trying to overcome daily. I don't think that throwing caution to the wind is the answer but trusting myself perhaps is. I need to learn to clearly hear my own soul when it speaks.
    I try to live my life with a sense of personal honour (*grin*) and courteousness. And as such any decisions to be made are thus for the good of others as much or maybe more than myself.. does that make them the right decision? i don't know.
    I have heard myself counselling my friends lately "every choice you make is the right one, because it is the one YOU make at that time" and i do believe that, i just need to find the confidence to apply it to myself and not just use it in my 'suporting cast' role 🙂
    I also want my ride on the wheel to be one of dawning enlightenment and growth. I know that for me that will come from the people i meet and love, not necessarily from where i go and what i do… So maybe i should stop beating myself up for not travelling round the world or for not following a dream… my real 'dream' is simply along the way to love and be loved in return. Love cannot be sought, it has to come freely and that is the will of the fates… They have already looked kindly on me in my wonderful friends who constantly amaze me by loving me, but thankfully you can never have too much love.
    I'm getting better tho, i think, at just occasionally just leaping from the clifftop and trusting to destiny (which in a loose and malleable sense IS something i believe in) and enjoying the catharsis if not the consequence. Some might consider that to be absolving yourself of choice but i think that in the right balance, it's an optimistic trust that is part of the growth and self learning.
    hmmm, a bit of meandering comment and not terribly well expressed but i know you will get what i mean 🙂

  7. pisica Says:
    May 25th, 2004 at 10:56 pm

    There was one CYOA book involving space travel or something, but there was a planet you couldn't actually get to through making choices – I think you just had to stumble on it. This meant paging through the book without doing any of the choices stuff. I always thought this was kind of cool – set up a framework and then demand someone break through that in order to get the reward. Like the king who always loses at chess to his adviser, except that he can always knock the board off the table and declare himself the winner!
    Dunno what this all means, of course…. 🙂

  8. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 27th, 2004 at 10:51 pm

    That's really funny! I think I remember that one…Starship Traveller or something like that. It's like they were breeding little anarchists along the way, eh?
    I remember feeling like I was so cool for finding the secret within the secret. Oh, if life were so easy!

  9. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 27th, 2004 at 10:35 pm

    Actually, it's wonderfully expressed and I hear you implicitly.
    What a great thing to be able to work this out for yourself and realise that you're growing and facing these freezing fears even amidst what's been deeply ingrained into you. And I say do it in whatever way you can, using whichever method makes you most comfortable. You sound like you have a good path, and a good plan.
    I wonder if going back and looking at the path not chosen – those pages not fervently flipped to – is really 'cheating'. I wonder if it's how we, as young children, learn to deal with the consequences of our choices…and the fantastical ability to take back those choices if we're not satisfied with the results.
    …every choice you make is the right one, because it is the one YOU make at that time.
    I don't know if I can believe this. I think there are *definite* wrong choices in life, but as we get better at understanding who we are and what we need, the results of those choices become more clear and easier to foresee…and then easier to make.
    I've never been a proponent of the maxim, "Everything happens for a reason." I think that's utter shite, and a cop-out for people who are too timid or obstinate to face up to their own choices and responsibilities. Things happen, and if we're wise and open to learning and growing, we might be able to make something of those instances, and use them to our advantage in the future.
    You said you're getting better, and that sounds like a sure sign that you're being progressive and introspective about your own choices and what the results of those choices might bring. That makes me happy.

  10. seolta Says:
    May 27th, 2004 at 11:30 pm

    …every choice you make is the right one, because it is the one YOU make at that time.
    I don't know if I can believe this. I think there are *definite* wrong choices in life, but as we get better at understanding who we are and what we need, the results of those choices become more clear and easier to foresee…and then easier to make.
    I totally agree with what you say but perhaps what i meant is better explained like this… unless we are knowingly setting out to make a bad decision, the choices we make are the ones that seem right with the perception we have… if in hindsight these turn out to not have been the best decisions we could have made, that does not make them inherantly 'wrong' choices, and therefore we shouldn't allow the fear of a wrong decision to either bind us in indecision or weigh us down with regret… know what i'm trying to say? And of course, it goes without saying, that sort of frame of mind is easier said than put into practice…
    I guess this reasoning, for me, is about trying not to constantly beat myself up for stuff done or undone that makes me or someone else unhappy… and about trying to accept that what's done is done and if it didn't work out, despite best intentions, learn and move on… again easier said than done in Sarah's inner turmoil 🙂

  11. scotis_man Says:
    May 26th, 2004 at 7:51 am

    Amen, Brother
    Too true, too true … I find that the only way to tell which is the "right" choice it to look deep inside your faith in Whatever and see which choice resonates correctly, which just feels "right". I have had many of those where I feel cheated, but, ultimately, it has turned out "right" in the end. …and sometimes the pain tempers me for things yet to come.

  12. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 27th, 2004 at 10:42 pm

    Re: Amen, Brother
    Unfortunately, some people are cursed with a very bad intuition or faith, or at least a misleading one. The choices that feel 'right' to them only take them further down the darkened path, so to speak. Lord knows I've been there, but a long time ago, and I'm so thankful for the ability to sync my intuition with the speculation of results of major choices in my life.
    Of course it doesn't take away the results of mistakes or the regret that comes with them. And you're right – tempering pain is both a bane AND a boon.

  13. dangerine Says:
    May 26th, 2004 at 8:36 am

    Love this post. Read it five times.
    But the hardest decisions of all are the ones made with great regret, but ones that you unequivocally know you’ve made for the right reasons. And I’ve been thinking about some of those lately.
    The head and the heart having a war over who is correct…who gets to rule…who gets to make the decisions. Someone once said you have to ask yourself if you have a better head or a better heart when making those choices.

  14. FunkyPlaid Says:
    May 27th, 2004 at 10:47 pm

    Re: thoughtful
    I love that you loved it, and I love that you engage with it.
    Man, my heart can kick the shit out of my head with one arm tied behind its back. 🙂
    I recall you recently stating in your own journal, that "control is an illusion; let the universe seduce you."
    Baby, if I let the Universe seduce me, we'd be squeezing out malformed, inbred puppies until the end of time. I think I need to play it a bit demure with Her.

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