The presence of decisions

The consequences of our decisions and actions (or lack thereof) follow us all of our lives. They might follow us into the next iteration of our existence. In fact, they might determine the next iteration of our existence. I am in a comfortable spot in my life. Not all is perfect, but I am basking in the enviable position of being securely employed with a good home and excellent health.

It is very easy for me to engage my 20/20 hindsight and review how I got to this particular point in my life. As I examine each of my decisions and retrace my steps, a few of them make me shudder. Others make me clasp myself in a hug filled with relief and gratitude. The one I am most grateful for these days is that I have a job to complain about.

I have family members who lost their jobs some time ago and currently live off the charity of others. Both are struggling to find a job. ANY job, they say. They fill out endless applications online nearly all of which disappear into the vast empty hole of cyberspace. Sometimes, though, an application gets a response and there is an interview.

They call me when there is an interview, voices trembling with excitement and an anticipatory joy. It is only an interview, but they sound as if they had just been invited to the prom. They ask: What should I wear? What should I say? What if they ask about this or that?

This or that are decisions these family members made that resulted in them being unemployed and nearly unemployable. They took actions which were not in their best interests. When they relate their woeful tales of how tough their lives are now, it is all I can do not to point out how they got themselves there (when I do, the conversation ends abruptly). I can point to the exact decisions they made – years of them. Instead, I recommend decisions and actions that would take good care of them now and in the future.

This process makes me more cognizant of all the thoughts and deeds I carry with me. What I think today has a real impact on where and who I will be ten years from now. What I do today may not make my life noticeably different tomorrow, but the seeds are there getting ready to sprout. It is the ultimate reaping of what I sow.

I have to go now . . . my life is begging for some water and fertilizer.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

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5 Responses to “The presence of decisions”

  1. jeffstroud Says:

    As Conversations with God book 1 points out over and over, is thought, word, action, are our forms of creating what our lives look like. Yet the book also states, to move in to action first, asking what am I being. in others words, what is your state of mind while moving into or within that action.

    Barbara you know you can only be an example of how to be present your life. Others will either see it or not if they choose.
    The trick here is for them to do the work, the 20/20 on their own lives, their thoughts and actions that lead up to where they are today.

    You are reaping what you sow, it is good to water and fertilize that growth.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Thanks, Jeff — your statement “what is your state of mind while moving into or within that action” is an awareness, a mindfulness, that we often do not pay attention to. My 20/20 hindsight can see that decisions which did not turn out well for me began when I was feeling pressured, obligated, and uncomfortable. Of course, it took me 50+ years of experience to realize that, but at least I learned.

  2. holessence Says:

    “As I examine each of my decisions and retrace my steps, a few of them make me shudder. Others make me clasp myself in a hug filled with relief and gratitude.”

    Barbara, like you, I can relate in BOTH instances — good and poor choices.

    Many times I have clients on my table who say they feel like they’re painted into a corner. All one has to do is look at their own hand to see who’s holding the paintbrush.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Laurie — all too often, I hear people excuse themselves for their decisions because they perceived they had no choice, that circumstances outside of their control forced them into making decisions that turned out badly for them. According to them, it is someone else’s fault. Regardless, we are products of the lives we sow through our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Because we cannot control others, we have to rely on that which we can control: ourselves. Your analogy o fthe paintbrush above makes me stop and consier: what picture am I painting now?

  3. Not All Painting Is Art « Speaking from the Heart Says:

    […] friend Barbara Kass recently wrote an engaging blog post titled “The Presence of Decisions.” As I shared with her, it made me think about several people over the years who’ve […]

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