Diaries Magazine

What If Your Choices Are Not Life Sentences?

Posted on the 03 July 2022 by Sani09 @sani09

 <How I deal with anxiety, uncertainty, overthinking and life>

<What if your choices and decisions are not final destinations and life sentences?>

I was never really a victim of anxiety until 2018. Three traumatic episodes from three different spheres of my life had fallen upon me together at the same time, then. One of them was something I finally confessed to in 2020 on my Instagram and felt a huge burden off my chest. Writing in general and on social media helps this way. The sheer fact that when you write something, someone sitting miles away from you can relate to it, have gone through something like it or empathize to it, not only gives validation to your emotions but also a sense of meaning and purpose to your life and experiences, a sense of pure human connection.

But because it wasn't one trauma after the other, but three together, I had picked up some paranoia and anxiety as a symptom then. These are things I started working on from 2019 with a therapist and a life coach / healer, and eventually ended up taking healing practitioner courses myself. Today I have many courses and tools up my sleeve to deal with anxiety, stress, depression, etc for my clients and for myself.

But nothing beats acknowledging your emotions, the root causes, the thoughts, and then challenging them and acting consciously upon them (Something I work on with my clients in my Mindset Coaching program).

So, before 2018, I was a happy-go-lucky person, I was going through life as it flows without worrying a second about tomorrow. I would live in the moment, quite naturally, because that's who I was. I have always been a deeply feeling person and I would naturally incline towards my feelings while giving a job interview or making any decision like which college to go to. (Eventually, via my courses in consciousness I learned to distinguish between feelings and intuition and consciously making decisions or choosing to live in the moment).

But life had turned upside down in 2018. The only silver lining during that time was the Scooty I had won in a Lucky Draw Contest by Bournvita. I haven't yet learned to drive it and my friends have sat on it more times than I have, but it was a sign from the Universe for me to not give up on life and luck, to heal myself and overcome the traumas. I eventually came out of my Paranoia. Anxiety remained till 2020 end until I made my social media (sort of #MeToo) confession.

Now I get occasional anxious thoughts which is an overthinking spiral during decision-making. Like the one I got when I was deciding which house to shift to. Damn, those days I wouldn't let anyone in my family or close friends circle to sleep in peace. I would give them constant updates and ask questions and suggestions.

It is okay to ask for advice but what builds anxiety is the fear that there could be a right decision and then there could be a wrong decision. During the episodes in 2018, I blamed myself that I should have known better or I should have been safer, not loud, unseen, invisible, dressed in salwar kameez, not hanging out with male friends, etc so much (typical victim blaming) that I started brewing this subconscious feeling that life would punish me cruelly for taking any misstep.

Of course, learning to read Tarot, later in 2020, for myself and others helped me take the decision that was most aligned for my highest good. 

I realized life was better before 2018 because I didn't fear any choices or decisions. I knew then, what I have to remind myself now, that life doesn't want to punish you for choosing one choice over the other. Every choice just creates a new path for you. It's like a fork in the road and you choose one path and then you meet another fork, and you again choose one more path. No choices are wrong. Every choice is a bend in the road, your life an accumulation of these bends. You choose at the moment with what you feel will give you a rewarding journey.

The fault is when we assume there won't be any further choices to make, any more forks on the road, or any more bends in the path. When we are overthinking, we end up feeling that there is a right road and a wrong road and we have to somehow figure out which is the right one and we will be trapped for life there. As if these choices are not roads but prisons. We fear our choices would be life sentences, something tattooed on your face. Some choices can be like tattoos though like having sex without a condom in the US and then being stuck with a child you can't afford or raise forever. But then there will be choices afterwards like getting laser removal done (or like whether to put the child for adoption or seek funds to raise them, etc). I know it is a horrible example but an effective one because when we overthink we end up thinking the worst ideas.

All I am really saying is what I consciously remind myself - that my choices and decisions are for the moment or for a certain phase of life. It is not a life sentence. It is not an enclosure I can't get out of if I want to. That I will get to make choices again, and again.

When I had planned to take a career break, all I wanted at that time was rest, relaxation, 6 months of peace without worrying what I should be doing in life, without worrying whether the next job/role would be the one I will retire from, whether the next person I meet would be the one I will marry for life, whether the next location I live in would be where I settle forever. (There has always been this unsaid pressure to marry, to settle, to buy a house, to buy a car after I turned 28.)

Now that I have only two months left, some things have changed totally. I had decided I would leave the house after August, and then shift to the city I get my next job in. But with the abrupt shift in my house, a new door of possibility has opened- the sheer beauty of uncertainty that I may live here for 11 months as mentioned in the rent agreement or for three months as I had planned before or maybe six months to try out some other things I wanted to do. When nothing is certain, anything is possible. :-)

Maybe this is what life is- you plan for something and someday, and then something else happens before the someday. The best things in my life were never planned - my Tarot reading services, my intuitive counseling and coaching program, the New Products role I had gotten at Coke and then worked in and loved, my Poetry Books that became bestsellers, even my book Between Us was just supposed to be an ebook only which was later selected by NotionPress for complimentary paperback printing.

So, the best thing I can do again is what I did in March and April 2022- to live in the moment and see where life goes. It might mean a job in Gurgaon when it comes, a project in Mumbai, or even going back to my room in my parents' house. Life happens in the moment and by worrying about the future, we forget to enjoy the present. A healer friend of mine, MP, who was earlier a Cancer research intern says - Ye "by the way" hi life hota hai. (Reference: Think of updating your friends with a "BTW this happened).

Life is indeed about the journey than the destination. The destination is common and is death. Life is everything that happens in between. Imagine getting everything you want. What next? You still have to live it or enjoy it or try for something else.

I forget it sometimes, so I have to write it down here. If you forget it sometimes, you can read this post. <3

Remember the poem Relax by Ellen Bass or the Buddhist story she refers to?

"There’s a Buddhist story of a woman chased by a tiger.

When she comes to a cliff, she sees a sturdy vine
and climbs half way down.

But there’s also a tiger below.
And two mice—one white, one black—scurry out
and begin to gnaw at the vine.

At this point
she notices a wild strawberry growing from a crevice.

She looks up, down, at the mice.
Then she eats the strawberry.

So here’s the view, the breeze, the pulse
in your throat.

Your wallet will be stolen, you’ll get fat,
slip on the bathroom tiles of a foreign hotel
and crack your hip.

You’ll be lonely.
Oh, taste how sweet and tart
the red juice is, how the tiny seeds
crunch between your teeth."

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog