Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Hardest Lesson in Life

Okay, I know that there are probably harder lessons than this. Or that there are lessons just as hard as this one. Living life is not for the faint of heart. But for the sake of a good title, just go with it, okay?

The hardest lesson in life is to accept that other people make choices that are different than yours. Most of the time those choices have nothing to do with you; they are simply the choices that the person wants to make, according to their preferences and ideas about how to best live their life. But it's really hard not to watch people you respect make a choice that is different than yours and then feel peace about the choices YOU have made.

I've spent too much of my life taking other people's choices personally. As if they made their choice because they looked at my life and thought "Ugh, Tori is an idiot. I'll show her by doing it this way." This feeling has been amplified and exacerbated by parenthood, as I watch people make different choices for their kids. I've spent hours wondering why that choice works for them, or why the choices I've made don't work for them.

And then every four years or two years or October/November (depending on your interest level) election season rolls around and you are once again faced with the very real fact that people you know make very different choices than you do. But how can they, you wonder. Isn't my choice the right choice?  Who is wrong, me or them?

Unfortunately for this Likes to Have Her Ducks in a Row Beaver the answer is both. Neither. Neither are right or wrong or better or worse. It's just a choice. Both have their pros and cons, their benefits and detriments. Much of life does not fall into Absolute Truth, so you just have to go with what you think is best and let go of the outcome. Choose to sit back and let it play out and determine to do your best with what happens. It's a hard lesson.

On a related note, I did want to just put out in the world that it really does matter how you talk about your choice. You could tout your choice as the Only. You could brag about the moral high ground you've taken with your choice. Or you can just make it and move on. Part of the reason that this election is so hard is because everyone is clamoring to be correct. They might try to sugar coat their words by using the disclaimer "You do what you feel is best BUT I'm doing this." There is always a but. And whether you want it to or not, people read into that "but" and hear "you've made the wrong choice." And most people can't handle being told they've made the wrong choice and fight back. So much fighting.

Go ahead. Make your choice. Remember that most people aren't thinking about YOU when they make their choice. And just like you want the grace to make the choice that works best for you, give others the grace to make the choice that works best for them. Variety is the spice of life, eh?

No comments:

Post a Comment