2005-05-06 / Columnists

The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

Have you ever felt happy and sad at the same time?  Sometimes we have

conflicting emotions and that is fine.  We may be happy that someone we

love got a great job in Japan, for example, but also feel sad that this person is going so far away. Conflicting emotions are responses to an uncontrollable situation. When what happens is outside of our control, we must make the best of it. We may have to mourn our unfulfilled expectations or accept that change is inevitable. 

There is an old expression, “Man plans and God laughs.” When the situation is in our control and we finally make the choice, often doubts or new questions appear. Did I make the right choice? The key to remember is that this is just a small step in all the steps we make. We make decisions all the time, but most are not earth shattering. Someone may be going back to Japan, but perhaps will decide to return at a later date. Vacations may be planned in new ways. We can’t see the future, but we can’t assume that every choice is the last one we will ever make. Tomorrow another decision will have to be made, and then each present moment presents a new set of circumstances. The future is really always unknown.

Sometimes the conflict occurs because of the context of the decision.

Some people make decisions based on their own needs, while others take

into account the whole family or best friends. Am I deciding whether to take that job in Japan based on the fact that I really want it or will my child get a good childhood experience there?  What does my spouse feel about this decision? One can be thought of as selfish or uncaring, or too limiting based on the perspective. The perspective is also why we feel hurt sometimes over someone else’s choices. The important point is to recognize that I feel what I feel and experience my feelings fully. Then I can balance my energy, and see if there is anything I

need to do.  If not, I may choose to let go of the emotions and bring peace back within myself and then let life unfold at its own pace. 

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