Yesterday I wrote about choosing your hard. Which, for me, was an eye opening experience. It helped me to recognize that all choices are hard to make and hard to live with sometimes, but that what we are really choosing is directionality.
I make choices every day that either support my life’s purpose and affirm my feeling safe in my life or I make choices that do not. I find myself wondering why on earth would I ever pick something that doesn’t support me?
Well, as it turns out, there are lots of reasons...
I do not want to get up at 4 am everyday. It is a hard choice every single day! But it is the only time that I am able and have the energy to write. If I waited until night came, I would never, ever have done it. So it was the morning hours that gave me time and inclination to begin this whole silly process. I could have just as easily chose to sleep in. But that, in this case, was the harder choice. I knew that I needed to write and begin living out louder, so the decision to get up everyday super early and write all this crap down was a hard choice but one that ultimately affirmed where I wanted to go in my life. This choice was actually way easier than the other choice (sleeping in) and much more likely to lead me in the direction I want to go.
Letting go of someone I care about. Hard decision. Very hard. However, it would have been so much harder to stay in a relationship with them. The terms that I would have had to agree to asked too much from me. It would have been harder to stay and that decision to stay would have resulted in me not respecting who I am or how I live my life. As much as I enjoyed and really wanted this person in my life, the terms of remaining were too great for me to move forward with any self esteem. So I had to do the hard thing, walk away. The other person thought I took the easy way out. But I can assure you, I did not. It was hard, is hard, to trust that I made the right decision. I know that I did because this decision at least doesn’t violate spiritual principles and supports me feeling better about myself. I miss the person a great deal but know that to remain would have been taking the easy way out and would have harmed myself and them in the process.
I am on day 12 of no sugar. For anyone of you who know me, THIS IS A FUCKING MIRACLE! I have been a sugar hound since I was 2...no lie. I do not think I have ever gone more than 10 days without chocolate, like in 48 years. I have tried to quit so many times. Always able to stave off a day but then succumb and I am off to the races again. Eating sugar every day was hard. Quitting was exceptionally harder. But once I saw that I was making a hard choice every day no matter what, the choice became easy. The effort reapplied to not wanting to eat the stuff that makes me fat, achey, inflamed and generally not feeling well in my body. It is a day at a time thing...and will be forever. I am not a moderation person. Sugar has fallen into the category with alcohol and cigarettes - I can have one + a million or I can none. Those are my choices...I can’t do middle of the road with these. I know sugar is one of those also. Dammit! But today I make the choice, just for today, to not eat the stuff that makes me feel better immediately to, instead, decide that I am going to pick something different for myself.
For me, choosing hard isn’t really all that hard. Mostly it is a story I tell myself about myself that helps me make a decision that does two things: absolves me of responsibility for my choices and allows me to continue to plow forward on a path that will always lead me to a place I do not want to go.
My mom reminded me of a couple of things yesterday about hard. She said that when we label things as hard, we automatically create resistance...however, I think the resistance is already there, labeling it hard just makes the directional decision more intentional. Whether I label it as hard or not, I am struggling in all of the above situations. For me, the hard label gives credence to how much I am working on the issue and that my choices on this issue will either affirm me or undercut me, the hard choice is always mine to make.
She also reminded me that lightening up is always an option...and this is so very true. I am the kind of person who can become so bogged down in the seriousness of life that I forget I am supposed to enjoy it. I make hard decisions all the time and perhaps the commonality of them can be a reason to just lighten up about them. No big deal, just not eating sugar today. No big deal, just not engaging in a relationship that is going to cause me to behave in ways that are less than supportive of a spiritual life. No big deal I am up with the chickens (for the record, I am up before them every damn day) to write and publish and honor a commitment I made first to myself and then to you. Lightening up gives me some space around the death grip I seem to need to have on life.
Choosing hard, for me, is life affirming. The hardness is in the choice. The life affirmation is in the direction. I can move toward my own self destruction...or I can stop it and get on with the business of living my life to the very best of my ability and purpose. A friend of mine pointed out that my self destructive ways today look pretty fucking good. I am not the shitshow I once was. I am a mostly functional adult who has their shit together most of the time...all because I choose my hard well...with a little spiritual kick in ass from time to time.
Choosing hard is not so hard after all. Making choices that get me closer to who I want to be are good choices, even if they are sometimes require me to get up super early, walk away from someone I care deeply for or stop eating something that is likely making me sick...Choosing hard isn't ever really as hard as I make it out to be. Living with the easy choices are what make my life so much harder...