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Did you know that your choices and decisions create who you become?
Are you happy with who you are? Sometimes I really hate myself, sometimes I love myself, sometimes I accept who I am and at other times I want to change who I am. The bottom line is that we all want to be accepted for who we are and not for who people think we are.
I am a 59-year-old woman. I play many roles.
Wife, mother, inlaw, aunt, cousin, friend, blogger, teacher, homemaker, lover, confidant and on and on.
I love all of the roles I am in my life. Some of these roles are intertwined and create a new meaning for that role.
No matter what role I am playing at the moment, I need to remember “I am who I am”. I say this often, but now I really understand the meaning of this phrase.
This means that over my life I have made choices and those choices lead to your decisions and these decisions are what have formed the “me” of today.
Every moment of your life you make a decision…EVERY MOMENT! Every choice you make is a decision. Those are a lot of decisions to make in an hour, let alone in 59 years. Sometimes we take our time to make decisions and sometimes we make decisions quickly. Some of the decisions lead us to good things and some decisions lead us to bad decisions. But the decision was made and we can’t take that decision back once it has been made and set into motion…decisions can go two ways they can become a success or failure. You really do not know what that decision will be until after you have made the decision, it is set into motion, and the consequences for your decisions appear. We are who we are because of our decisions.
If your decision is a success you will feel delighted, happy, satisfaction, joy, pride, hope, inspiration, pride. These are all positive emotions that leave you feeling at peace with yourself. When you succeed you will pat yourself on the back, love yourself, love life.
If your decision becomes a failure you will feel doubt, frustration, guilt, despair, sadness, shame, fear, anger. These are negative emotions and will leave you feeling at odds with yourself. When you fail you will bang your head on a wall, hate yourself, hate life.
EVERY MOMENT of every day you make a decision.
Some of these decisions can be life decisions that you know will shape your future. You make these decisions with care, thinking, and you process each and every possibility of these decisions. You weigh the pros and cons to help you choose. Some of these decisions may be choosing who you will marry, choosing your career, choosing where you will live. You feel these decisions are the most important decisions you will ever make.
Then there are some decisions you put little to no thought in making. You make the decision, but you don’t feel this decision will shape your future. For instance, choosing what to watch on television, choosing where you will go today, choosing what you will eat today are made with some thought. However, you generally don’t look at these decisions with how they will shape your future, they are quick decisions made at the moment.
What we don’t understand is that EVERY decision we make is important! No matter how insignificant the decision may seem in the moment this decision can and most likely will shape our future. The decision to watch a documentary on teachers over a sitcom can change your career path from a veterinarian to a teacher. The decision to eat a donut instead of the banana can take you on a path of diabetes. All of these choices are made at the moment. You may subconsciously understand the consequences of your choices, but you don’t stop and take the time to weigh all the pros and cons like a life decision.
When we make choice and the decision we made turns out to be a failure we call these mistakes. We make mistakes every day.
Some of these decisions you make will only hurt yourself. The decision to eat the donut was a mistake, but no one gets hurt but you. These mistakes we can fix within ourselves by making better choices the next time…we can choose to eat the banana tomorrow. These decisions can cause you to feel bad about yourself, but you only have yourself to blame for these decisions. These mistakes hurt you and may indirectly affect others, but you can change your decisions in the future to fix these mistakes.
Some decisions affect others, not just yourself. These decisions affect are the ones that affect our relationships. For instance, the decision to put a meme on Facebook can affect a friends view of you causing a rift in the relationship. Choosing not to give a hug because you are in a hurry can cause the person to feel unloved. Choosing not to say thank you can cause the person to feel unappreciated.
These decisions are ones we either consider a life choice or a mistake. If you make the decision to hurt someone knowingly that is a life choice. You consciously made the decision to hurt someone and you understand that the relationship will either be over or changed forever. When you make these decisions you are feeling envy, hate, hurt, anger in the moment of the decision. You may regret the decision later, but you made the decision and now you need to live with that decision.
Decisions that are considered mistakes are ones you make and you did not realize you would hurt others. You made the decision quickly without the thought of hurting anyone. When you made the decision your feelings were normal everyday feelings. You didn’t set out to purposely hurt another person…it was a mistake.
You will know if you have made a mistake when you see that you have hurt yourself or someone else.
You will feel guilt, regret, fear, sadness, loss, shame.
What to do when your decision turns into a mistake that hurts someone else?
- Accept responsibility for the choice you made. Understand that you made the mistake and you honestly know that you have hurt the person and how you hurt the person. You own it as a bad choice you made without knowing it would hurt someone, it was a mistake.
- Do not try to make excuses or try to defend your choices. Many times when you make excuses or defend yourself it will make you look guilty…like you purposely made the decision consciously (on purpose) and not that you made the decision subconsciously (a mistake). The person will see that you are not taking responsibility for what you have done and in order to forgive they need to feel that you are taking responsibility.
- Ask for forgiveness. Simply letting them know that you made a bad decision and you are sorry for hurting them, by saying you are sorry.
- Ask how to make it better. Knowing that you care enough to want to make it better will help them know that the relationship is important to you and that you are willing to do what it takes to keep the relationship.
- Understand the choice is now theirs. If you have accepted responsibility, apologized meaningfully, and let them know that the relationship is important to you…you have done all you can do. It is up to them to forgive. Read this post on Forgiveness if you need more information on forgiving.
I have made billions, maybe trillions or more choices in my 59 years of life, I am who I am because of the choices I have made.
Some of my choices have been successes and some have been failures. However, I accept that I made the choices and made the decision, whether they were conscience life decisions or everyday decisions…whether they were made knowing they would hurt, or if they were made by mistake…I accept my choices.
I have let go of relationships through decisions I have made consciously and I have no regrets for these decisions.
I have lost relationships from the mistakes I have made and these losses hurt my heart and soul.
Bottom line is that either you will love me for who I am, and accept that through the billions of decisions I have made, I may have made a mistake or two and forgive me…or I need to walk away.
Moral of this story – Life is too short to dwell on mistakes that were made…if you have accepted responsibility, asked for forgiveness, and asked what you can do to make it better and the person refuses to accept the apology…let go, forgive yourself, and walk away.