Chatting to a friend of mine the other day about the consequences of the decisions we make. We had met for coffee in The Hyndland Fox for a catch up but since both of us have had to make pretty big decisions the chat soon turned philosophical. Our discussion centered around the consequences of making decisions, and how often we make a choice and “to hang with the outcome”.
I think the perfect illustration happened the other day, I was unusually late because I had slept in (something I very rarely ever do) and instead of running around like a mad thing, I decided to heck with it, I might as well be really late and have another coffee. So what you might think? Well if I say four words … white shirt undone shoelace … perhaps the consequence of this decision might be obvious. A simple decision with serious laundry consequences.
My friend mentioned her sister who had just been in a serious accident. She had a broken arm, severe bruising and was having a hard time coming to terms with what had happened. She had spent hours with a therapist mulling over why she had had to make that journey, why she had driven a different way and why did the accident happen? Even when all this had been talked and worked out she still had trouble understanding the age old question of why me? The plain fact of the matter was that the driver behind her had been on his mobile phone. It was all his fault but K’s sister could not come to terms with the fact that the accident was outwith her control. The reason? She had taken a different route that morning.
How many times do we make decisions big or small. conscious or unconscious that then become part of a chain reaction? And why, when it is clearly not our fault, do we blame ourselves?
Acceptance is perhaps the biggest hurdle, realising that every action does have an equal or opposite reaction, no matter what we do. For me accepting that whatever I do will have an outcome, perhaps not what I wanted but something will happen as a result. The difference between the conscious decision to drive while on a mobile phone versus the conscious decision to take a different route to avoid a tractor or the choice to eat a healthy salad versus a huge great big bit of chocolate cake will all have consequences, some with influence from other factors and others not. I am afraid in life there are just some things that are totally outwith our control. Accepting that and focusing on what is important go a great way to helping.