“Life is a series of choices. Some turn out well while others don’t. We may hope for a “magical movie moment” that stops us from making a choice before it turns out poorly. In reality, going through some of these lessons is the nature of life itself. Don’t flog yourself about your choices. We make them because we are human. Learn as much as possible from each choice then trust your inner wisdom to guide your journey.”
I was talking with a girlfriend of mine last night and we were laughing because I have a tendency to just wing it when it comes to major decisions in life. She stopped the conversation and said, “I am still amazed that you went to Europe, for as long as you did, with no real plan.” I told her that each morning I woke up , I repeated my mantra, “we’ll see….we’ll see what happens today.” I seem to have carried that mantra with me, because now when I start to make plans about the future, they are followed with the statement, “we’ll see”.
Funny thing is that I used to be a diligent planner and in certain instances, I still am. But, the problem with plans is that they never really seem to go according to plan and plans always change. Many people who travel through Europe with a plan come home with complaints about either the people, the food, the accommodations, and on and on, that inevitably didn’t meet their expectations of that “perfect” idea they had conjured about what their trip would be like. Before I left, I attempted to talk myself out of going with those “what if”s. “What if I can’t find a hotel?”, “What if I get lost?”, “What if something bad happens?”, and so on. I almost didn’t get on the plane, but something inside me conjured up enough courage to suck it up and go. By keeping the intention to stay focused in the present, my trip was everything I hoped it would be.
I dated a man who had the same idea about relationships – he wanted the “fairy tale” and when I didn’t turn out to be his idea of “perfect”, he was disappointed – we all have this nasty habit of setting our lives up for disappointment. Or, as Mr. Shapiro points out, we opt out of getting into a relationship, making a choice or following through on a plan because we are afraid they/it will fail and not live up to our expectations. Most of the time we opt out of life, it is based on fear generated by those “what if” questions. “What if he breaks my heart?”, “What if she doesn’t like me?” blah, blah, blah……
“What if” is the mantra of The Worrier. The Worrier is embedded in our psyche to help keep us safe from harm, but sometimes The Worrier takes on the role of a martyr and causes us to create self-defeating attitudes which end up causing us to miss out on life. How many moments of life do we miss because we fear the outcome won’t live up to our expectations? How many of us really have that kind of time to miss? I personally have missed a million moments while trying to avoid the bad ones, I equally missed out on the good.
The best thing I ever did for myself was to say “fuck the fairy tale”. No one is perfect, life is messy, and everything is ordinary. You never know how beautiful it can be when you let go of the expectations that life will be anything else and instead open up to the possibility that you might fall flat on your face, or you might just take flight.
Unless you try, you won’t know, so give yourself the chance today to just wing it and “We’ll see”……