When trying to make a decision in the midst of conflict and confusion, you might find yourself on a rollercoaster of emotion threatening to spin out of control. You may begin to realize that you change your mind day to day, hour to hour, even moment to moment.
You’ll likely find yourself feeling stuck, living in fear of the unknown.
Take the decision to get a divorce, for example: some people stay in this state of limbo for years. The experience can be daunting. You may spend a great deal of time thinking about how the decision to divorce would affect so many—your spouse, children, extended family, perhaps even the community where you live. Then there are the considerations about your home, finances, and countless other responsibilities. These unanswered questions are steeped in fear. No wonder we experience such discomfort when facing the unknown.
I vividly remember feeling paralyzed when I was going through this decision process in my own marriage. Although my background as a therapist enabled me to recognize the state I was in, my internal tools eventually led me down a path of clarity and ultimate happiness. Let me emphasize the word “eventually”! I felt just as overwhelmed as you, and it left me frozen.
I remember watching my son at a baseball game one day. Suddenly a foul ball was headed in my direction. Everyone around me had the sense to move out of the way, but I just stood there. I remember people saying things like, “Wow, you have no fear!” Little did they know—nor did I—that my life was basically driven by fear. I felt nothing as I stood still, waiting for the ball that could have slammed into my face. Yet I did nothing.
My husband and I spent years in couples’ counseling, working with a professional with whom we both felt comfortable. But I gradually sensed a halt in our progress. I felt as if I were stuck on a merry-go-round. Nothing was shifting in our relationship, and my fears soon transformed into a goal: I needed to get off the merry-go-round and force myself to change on my own. It wasn’t until I started to look within—to re-direct any blame and focus on my responsibilities in the marriage, not his—that real change occurred. I felt more in control and empowered as I became self-aware. I learned what the meaning of being mindful was. I truly started to reap the benefits once I learned to take a breath, which could instantly bring me back to the present and had a positive effect on my entire being.
I began to cultivate a sense of awareness in my relationship. Situations that may have seemed ambiguous before were now moments of clarity.
Even though your inner resources may be hidden right now, we all possess internal tools that can help us clear our mind and make decisions with greater ease. By tapping into your gut’s wisdom, your soul, you can begin to make smarter choices rooted in acceptance, integrity, and deep trust that you are following the path that is best for you.