Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's all about what we do with the choices...

Also visit my Photography by DonnaKay blogspot @ http://photographybydonnakay.blogspot.com ... a little more about my life as I grow my photography business...

Don't you just hate it when someone uses "but" in a sentence all the time?  It really drives me crazy!  Such as "I'd love to, but...." or "I understand what you're saying, but..."  And maybe it drives me even crazier when it's an instance of being in a spot of having been caught doing something wrong and coming up with an excuse rather than taking personal responsibility.  That's when "but" makes me want to scream!  By no means have I lived the perfect life.  In fact, looking back it would appear that most often I've made the choices that would take me on the toughest road possible.  There have been times that I didn't have all the facts I should have before making a decision - yet the truth is that often that was my own fault for not spending the time finding out more before jumping into something.  Whether it was a relationship or a job or even just a purchase -- "buyer's remorse" has too often been the result.  But that is part of growing up and maturing - as long as we can look back and see signs of learning and maturing along the way. 

Like any parent, I've always wanted my kids to grow up and have a better life than I had.  I want them to make better decisions and have better outcomes.  Mostly, I want them to make choices that keep them clear of the painful roads I have so often taken.  But, like other parents, I have also learned that we can only teach and guide our kids... we can't live their lives, and they are going to make the decisions that THEY decide to make.  And they will try to find someone to blame those bad decisions on - because who really likes taking personal responsibility? 

Although I have definitely not lived my life perfectly, I have learned from the many bad choices and mistakes along the way.  I embrace them for what they are. I take personal responsibility for making the choices myself (no matter who or what I could possibly blame for inspiring or influencing me to make the choices) and I have chosen to learn lessons from each bad choice.  Many times God's grace has kept me from the worst consequences, yet most often there are some consequences I would rather not have had to face just the same.  But these serve as reminders that particular paths are ones I don't want to take again in the future.  That the warnings of "do not cross this boundary" are real - and I must remember this when faced with the temptation in the future. 

If I could share the big stuff I've learned along the way, it could probably be summed up pretty easily. 

1. Trust is something very dear.  If you lose it, you run the risk of never getting it back.  Trustworthiness is worth more than any amount of money - guard it with everything - because it is all you are in the end.  And trust includes integrity and honesty - there really can't be one without the others.  Remember: there can be forgiveness for some mistakes, but you can never undo what is done. 

2.  You can't get time back.  If you waste it, it's gone.  So if you are in the phase in life having small children, just know sometimes it's tougher than words can explain -- but on the other extreme it can also be so wonderful it's more powerful than anything in the world.  And it's worth everything you put into it.  You can't make your kids perfect no matter what you put into them - but you can do a lot of harm if you don't give them all of "you" that you can possibly give them.  There is no place for selfishness and self-centeredness in parenthood.  It just won't work.  So if you need everything to be about you, just don't have kids.  It's the most fair thing you can do!

3.  Be who you are.  If you have to pretend to be someone else for people to like you, then something needs to be adjusted.  Either you need to change into who you are pretending to be - or you need to find other people to like you for who you are.  And that's by no means saying "you have a right to be who or whatever you want to be" -- like it or not, there are just some things that are wrong (politically correct or not - although "pc" would never be used to define me anyway!) 

There is no doubt that I will make many more wrong or bad choices in my future.  But I hope I have learned to have the integrity to admit when I'm wrong - honesty so I can help someone else possibly learn from my mistakes - humility so I never think I'm above making mistakes.