Thursday, June 9, 2011

The right thing to do can sometimes be the hardest....

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There are times in life that things just seem to move along smoothly... almost to the point that you might even feel a little bored or stir-crazy.  At least, that's what I've heard.  My life, however, seems to be more like an ocean, with constant waves and sometimes a tsunami suddenly knocking my feet out from under me.  This is definitely one of those weeks.  Overall my life has always been interesting -- at times almost unbelievable.  Whenever I have a really close friend with whom I share details from a period of my life, I know in their mind they think I've got to be exaggerating -- and I only can wish it was an exaggeration.  Oftentimes I've thought about writing it all down, and I could publish it all in a series of novels (would be way too much for one book!)  And of course, I would write it under fiction and change all the names of the people in my story.  Yet no doubt anyone who knows me would know that it should really be in the Biography section at the bookstore.

When it comes to dealing with the tough times in life, people are often very different in their views on how to deal with things.  Some people believe we should keep everything hidden away and silent - not ever letting anyone know the details of our private lives.  That we should protect those who are involved at all costs.  And there are times that I can understand that.  But I am more of the mindset that I believe you can only sweep so much under the proverbial carpet before it explodes inside of you - and causes much more problem than if you had just dealt with it in the first place.  I wonder how many people have suffered in silence, when maybe if they had reached out and been open about what they were experiencing, someone could have known how to help them - or at least to pray for them.  There may be some humiliation, and sometimes that is brought on ourselves - but there are also times that we face humiliation just for the circumstances of someone elses bad choices, and it's a great lesson to learn that everyone is in that place at some point.  It is through the times of humiliation that have been brought on me by something someone else did to hurt and humiliate me that I have learned the most about compassion - and how to be a more compassionate person to others. 

No one is proud when they've done something wrong - whether it was just careless, plain out stupid, or even life-changing and devastating.  But whatever it is, if they don't do something to change whatever it is that brought them to make such a bad decision, they are more than likely going to repeat it at some time.  There are times that we have to stop and look in ourselves, recognize the problem and see that something has to be removed or changed in a major way.  And then we have to do the work to get this accomplished.  It's like pruning.  And pruning is not fun - it is often very painful.  Cutting away something bad, dead, dangerous for the road we want to travel in life -- but the outcome is almost always something beautiful.

Everyone will be faced with decisions that have a right choice and a wrong choice.  But then there are those decisions that have the only right choice - and the worst choice you could possibly make.  And this is one of those weeks that I've watched two people I love so dearly deal with now facing the consequences of making the worst choice they could possibly make in different issues.  And for me, the hardest thing to do is step back and know that all I can do is love them through this time - but they have to deal with their own consequences.  It is most often the only way we learn.

Doing the right thing is very often not the most fun of the choices we are faced with in life.  Sometimes it can be the most boring.  The "right" thing can also sometimes keep us from being the most popular, or keep us from getting ahead with something we really would like to just go ahead and jump to the front in (career, friendships, popularity, social standing, finances, and SOOO many other ways.)  And there are even those times when doing the right thing can be rather humiliating, and you have to deal with wondering what people are thinking about you.  But honestly, it just doesn't matter!  We each have to live with our choices - and it shouldn't matter what any one else thinks about us if we are making the right choices.  Do we think "what will people think of me" when we're making the bad choices?

My oldest son called me yesterday and reminded me of something very important.  He said "Mama, the bad choice has already been made.  It can't be changed.  No one can go back and change what's already been done, no matter how much they might want to... believe me, Mama, I have learned that!  But now it's time to see what can be done to fix the damage... and the best way to go on from here.  And learn from the mistake and never make it again."  Now how did that boy get so wise?