Then we grow up of course and we realize that in many situations there are no "right answers". When faced with a decision there is no way to go back later and see what would have happened if we made a different choice. Experience helps but no amount of experience can issue a guarantee. The phrase "everything happens for a reason" sounds great, but is this simply a way to make ourselves feel better about the course of events that we have zero control over? Are we grasping to find reason after the fact in order to gain acceptance? To neatly compartmentalize in order to move out of the past? After spending countless hours thinking and discussing these and similar questions I have to conclude: I don't know. Its a process of understanding and self-awareness that takes a lifetime.
And because these "no right answer" scenarios are part of life we are faced with making tough decisions. Not doing anything is a decision too. Not knowing what to do is a situation I find myself in fairly often. I am frequently in the space of "figuring out what to say and how to act". Sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes days or even weeks. This process can be painful and emotional. Sometimes its easy. I want to discuss what to do when its painful and emotional. Here is what works for me.
- Quiet your mind. Meditation and acupuncture. For some people this might be prayer.
- Talk to trusted friends. But be careful to know what is your opinion and what is their opinion. Don't lose yourself and be prepared to disagree.
- Exercise. Gets the blood and mind moving.
- Avoid substances / alcohol. Keep your mind clear. Plus you'll sleep better and good thinking requires good sleep.
- Have faith and get comfortable in the unknown. Your patience muscle might be a little weak, but that's ok. Look at this as a chance to practice, making next time around easier. The more at peace you can be in the space of not knowing what to do the better because you can a) enjoy the process and b) not be vulnerable to hasty and not ideal decisions.
PS. You can do this. I promise.
What works for you?