Every day we are met with choices. Do we do this or do we do that? Doing nothing is a choice as well. Sometimes it is all we can do, especially when we are trying to protect ourselves from being hurt.
How many times has someone asked you, “How are you doing?” and you responded, “I’m good” when really you were the exact opposite. Most people cannot handle the truth and when they ask this, we all seem to know they don’t really care, that they don’t really want to hear how we are doing and they are just being polite.
Imagine telling someone how you really feel when they asked that. “How are you doing?” “Well, now that you asked…let me tell you!” I’m not sure the person would know what to do. It would be interesting to find out though.
It’s funny how this became a norm, isn’t it? We answer what sounds like a meaningful question with a rather meaningless reply. I’m sure at one time it had to mean something when someone asked it and at one time people told the truth. I imagine the days when neighbors were neighbors and knew one another, watched each others kids and brought a pie over when you moved in.
But now people don’t really want to know how others are doing, unless they are relevant to them. Do you know your neighbors? Do you chat it up with them? Invite them over? Do you know anything personal about them? Or are you the person who waves, gives a nonchalant smile and thanks God that they aren’t bothering you?
Maybe the lack of communication isn’t with the person asking “How are you” maybe the problem is with the person answering.
Maybe in that moment when we are being asked how we are, we think about all of the ways we feel as though we are wrong because of the choices we have made. Maybe we are thinking how sad we are because we want to be in love but can’t meet the right partner, we hate our job and can’t stand our boss, a family member is sick and we don’t know if they are going to recover. But instead of saying any of that, we say, “I’m good.” because admitting anything else would make us less perfect than how we long to appear.
Our emotions can change from moment to moment, so why wouldn’t are choices follow? How can you make a bad choice? It’s just a choice. And there really aren’t any bad ones, unless if you are planning on committing a crime.
We should never fault ourselves for making the choices we do. How else are we going to learn? The problem comes when you continue to make choices that wind up making you miserable, and you don’t do anything about it.
We can lament all we want about the choices we have made in our lives and think about how different things could have been, would have been, if only we would have made different ones. But does that really get us anywhere? Does choosing to lament over the past change it?
If you didn’t like a choice you made, you can always make a different one. Haven’t you ever ordered something to eat and then changed your mind after you gave it to a waiter? Or are you one of those people who don’t want to bother them, so you eat something else instead of what you really wanted?
The choices we made can keep us locked in our past, filled with teary eyes and a longing for how we wish we would have done things different, or they can empower us to realize we made the choices we did at the time because it is how we felt.
As people change, their choices change and that’s the beautiful and often times painful thing about growth. But it’s growth and personal growth should always be celebrated.
So forget about the choices you made, wipe those those teary eyes and just keep on dancin/walkin/movin forward. Eventually your teary eyes will turn to smiley ones and you’ll be laughing instead.