Years ago, I made a tough decision. I think about it often: it’s had a continuing impact on me and on those I love.
I always felt it was the right decision. Hard, disappointing, full of promise and loss, and right.
Yesterday, as I pondered it again, I called it a good decision instead of the right one, and the implication of that wording struck me.
If I call it a “right” decision, then any other path would necessarily have been “wrong.” I don’t think it’s that black and white, though.
It’s fascinating how the choices we make play out. Sometimes, I envy those who chose differently when faced with a similar situation. If I had gone in another direction, things probably would have turned out fine…just differently. Or maybe in that alternate universe I would have regretted my choice, then again, maybe I would never have thought about it again. Who knows?
At the time, I didn’t feel like I had a choice. But, truly, we always have options, even if they’re limited, even if the only option is in your attitude toward something out of your control.
Is one decision right or wrong? Since we can’t peer into the alternate universe where we went the other way, we simply can’t say. “Right” and “wrong” aren’t helpful. Thinking of our lives that way puts too much stress and pressure on a moment in which we can see, feel, and know only incompletely. We are freer to give ourselves and others some grace if “a” good choice implies that there are many good choices; there is not “the” only right one in a circumstance. Allowing for that makes us less judgmental toward others who choose differently than we would.
So, my decision was a good one. It was made in love. The consequences have been tough at times, but acting out of love will always be a good thing.