The old adage says, “think before you act”.
It seems to me that it is more important to think and to feel before you make decisions.
Whatever we experience at this very moment is the result of decisions we have made in the past. Did we think about them? Mostly not. We are more or less in automatic mode when we make decisions. We are not conscious every single second of when, how and why we decide as we do. It would probably surpass our capacity to stay sane, if he had to stop and listen to our inner voice every time we choose things in a shop, cross the road when the light is red, eat chips instead of fruit, just to name some of our choices.
These choices do have short term effects on our health but influence our lives only in the long run. Still they do count, and the trouble is that we make really important decisions often in the same haphazard way…
Our choices are our lives and we should make them more carefully.
We should take a moment to reflect but we should also let our feelings and sometimes our hearts guide us. All of us have known times when we had some kind of inkling whether we should hold back or plunge ahead in whatever was expected of us or we expected of ourselves.
We try to override these undefined sensations by weighing up all the pros and cons in our heads, but our gut feeling is more often than not a better indicator. We could relax and take heed, but often we are afraid to trust something that is only an undefined ‘feeling’. There is no proof and no guaranty that a feeling might just show us the right way. After all it is ‘only’ a feeling. But feelings are an important part of who we are.
The experiences we have had throughout our lives translate into feelings when similar situations occur. We react in body and mind and our sensations are based on well worn neurological pathways. Of course, these pathways can be deceptive because they have become habits and habits are not always good.
An easy way out of difficult situations is the excuse: “I had no choice”.
One always has a choice. Not necessarily an easy choice but always a choice. It might require backing down, sacrifice and hardship, but there is a decision we can take to stay true to ourselves, our beliefs, our values. We can recognize and change habits that no longer serve us or might even be detrimental to our well-being.
We can try and base at least most of our decisions on mindfulness, awareness and the willingness to open our minds and our hearts and change our perspective. Then we can put up with some less fortunate decisions we have made because we know that we are not perfect but we are living consciously with our imperfection.
We are back to Brother David Steindl-Rast and our Street Philosophy® motto:
Julia Kalmund, June 2018
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Love, Julia and Nina
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