Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Short Term Gain For Long Term Pain

Isn't it funny how we rationalize some decisions we make without thinking of the  long term impact? A quick or long thoughtful decision based on a current circumstance can result in long term pain. If only we could turn back the hands of time?

It could be a financial decision where we invested or did not invest in something, a decision at work or a relational issue regarding a spouse, child or family member.  Whatever it is, that short term gain has now netted long term pain.

It's even worse if we were told that the way we were going would result only in regret, pain and/or hardship. What makes us think that we're different, more invinsible, somehow not subject the laws of nature or even God?

Now here we are. We're beyond "I told you so" and lectures about "would have- could have- should have".  We wake with it,  go to bed with it; every TV program, conversation and bus advertisement seems to be about it and our thoughts are consumed with what we've done.

If we could just remove our head from our body just to not think about it.  We dream of the day when our thoughts are free from this negative thought obsession.  How do we get past it?  What's the solution?

It's so simple that it's difficult; FORGIVE OURSELVES!  Forgiving is hard though especially if someone was hurt by the decision  made; sitting in that self pity somehow feels justifiable for what has been done. 

Self forgiveness is a form of humilty. It admits that we're not perfect and we make mistakes. We are in great company;  David, Moses, Abraham, Paul, Peter, Sara, to name a few.

Self forgiveness allows us to be less judgemental of others; aware of our own fallibility and therefore we begin to see others through that lens.

Self forgiveness  takes away the self contempt and loathing that permiates a bad decision.

Finally, self forgiveness builds character after we pull ourself out of that pit and  know that we never want to be there again. We remember those dark days and nights; the immobility of depression, it is at that point that we commit to being a greater person.

We begin to make more thoughtful decisions. I call these decisions 360's. We begin to look at the whole scope and impact of our choices.  Decisions begin to be measured from a different perspective; less about us and more about  the consequences to others.

I believe that only through this process that we truly understand that short term gain  can equal long term pain if we do not consider the potential consequences.

Live on Purpose!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Follow Your GPS!

One day my daughter asked me to drop her off to a job interview in Scarborough.  I didn't know where it was so I used my GPS to get me there.  When I dropped her off I realized that I didn't know how to get home since I wasn't really paying attention to the street signs but rather,  I was turning left and right on command by my GPS.

I set it to go home. When I got to the hiway at I realized that I was fine and could make it home without the GPS. I decided to go to a shopping mall in another direction. One problem though,  I couldn't turn off my GPS when I got on the hiway.

The GPS  began to give me directions, "merge left, stay right, take the exit in 500 meters....". With every turn I made opposite to the instructions my GPS recalibrated to fix my error. I started getting mad, I wanted to go my own way but my GPS insisted on taking me home;  I tried desperately to turn it off but I needed to keep my eyes on the hiway.

When I reached the shopping mall and parked I was finally able to turn off the GPS,  I felt relieved. Afterwards I thought about how the GPS experience reminded me of our relationship with God; He has a direction for us to take  but sometimes we make plans to go another way.

As we go in our own plans He continually speaks to us, giving us the right directions  & as we make mistakes, He recalibrates to get us home in that still small voice. The next time that you use your GPS remember its God's Perfect Solution (GPS) for your life!

Monday, February 1, 2016

It's Not Whether You Made The Right Decision But Whether You Will Make Your Decision Right

A friend was speaking  to me about a decision she made which she regretted. She was in a particular sad time of her life and she began to look at key areas that she believed would be much better if she hadn't made certain decisions; her relationship was one of them.

She reflecting and wishing to go back in time to 'right the wrong'.  She began to reflect on boyfriend's past, the joy of new love, romance and happiness. This was increasing her anxiety and making her even more frustrated with her current life; I see this quite often.

Issues about buying the wrong dress, choosing a different ice cream or even the wrong vacation destination are one thing but decisions that involve character and commitments are more troubling and should be distinguished.  Issues such as keeping  a relationship should be surveyed under a different lens.

What you need to remember is, at the time when making the decision, you surveyed all possible options, pros and cons,  and with everything you knew at the time you made the decision.  If the other option was a better opportunity at the time,  you would have chosen it.

Regret is a useless emotion, maybe even a dangerous one.  It freezes the love back in time, in a perfect setting. It forgets about the current family and friends in your life;  it devalues their involvement and commitment in your life journey and it presumes nothing has changed from the point of your reflection to your current circumstance.

Truthfully all you really have is what is present right now rather than a distant memory that no longer reflects the reality of the time that has past.

Rather than focusing on righting the wrong decision that was made, perhaps a new perspective can be used;  how to make the decision you made right. This will take character,  integrity, change and a renewed commitment.  You never know what will happen if you begin to treat your loved one as if they were the best decision you ever made!