A for-sure guaranteed inevitability that will definitely happen at some point in life is where we come to a crossroads, that place of indecision. Chicken or fish? The one that comes in gray or the one that comes in black? Date the one from Arkansas or the one from Missouri? Call an Uber or call a cab?
Of course I cited examples that could be filed under small potatoes minutia. There are the biggies like coming out of the closet, or taking a job in another state or province, whether or not to quit our job, or whether or not to deliberately disseminate our glorious bouquet of DNA throughout the universe. Those are the ones that make us lay awake at night with our eyes wide open, counting bits of ceiling popcorn.
These episodes of paralysis-inducing ambivalence on what we truly desire is not as it seems. We like to believe that our vacillation stems from the fact that we want Option A as badly as we want Option 2. Let’s keep telling ourselves that we are the flag on the tug-of-war rope with the equally covetable options vying for our final decision.
But here’s the truth: the very thing that gets us stuck between Scylla and Charybdis is fear. Fear of being permanently encumbered with the result of making the wrong choice. It’s not that we want what’s in the left hand and right hand equally, we are afraid of being disappointed with what we ultimately chose and letting the unchosen option get away, never to see it again.
It seems to me that we stand at these crossroads looking in one direction or the other as if the road will always continue in that chosen direction. The reality is no matter which decision we make, that path will lead us to another bifurcation at some point. Every choice presents us its reward through what it used to tantalize us, yet it also calls for sacrificing something else we desire.
We are never permanently stuck with the results of a decision. What we chose inevitably leads to the next mentally rending decision at some point down the road, like a set of Matryoshka dolls with another point of decision within the preceding one. We could decide to bivouac in the middle of the intersection and refuse to take a path if we find ourselves that paralyzed. However, life is avaricious for change, it insists on exacting its toll of metamorphosis, it throws entropy in the face of the static. If we think we can avoid regret by not choosing, life will choose for us and we will invariably receive neither option.
The intention we set on the life we wish to manifest is born of desire. These desires are often based on a life we wish to attain that we are not already living. What we desire is what we currently lack, so we imagine how much more fulfilling our life would be once we attain what we want that is currently not part of our experience.
One of the most challenging aspects of manifesting our desired outcome is crossing the threshold that lies between who we are and who we want to become. This threshold can become an insurmountable wall as it requires a mental shift to overcome. The mental shift is a shift in our identity, in redefining who we are.
We have based who we are on what we lack. The person we are is the person who does not yet have what we desire, while the person we want to become has not yet been realized. When we identify with our deficit, we operate from this place. We make choices and decisions based on the person we have defined ourselves to be, the person who does not have the things we desire. So while we would very much like to become the person who has attained these successes we’ve envisioned, we still do not believe we are that person, as we have identified too strongly with our lacking.
In order to become the person we have envisioned, the currently defined self has to die. We have to shed our ego and leave it behind. To strip away from an identity we have long held may seem appealing in theory, but it is one of the most difficult things to do in practice. Our current identity is like an animal whose life is being threatened. No matter how unhealthy our self-identification may seem, our ego will fight as hard as it can to preserve its existence.
We can most easily recognize this in cases where we want to walk away from our current way of life but find ourselves saying we cannot picture a life without this particular aspect of our lifestyle, no matter how appealing the other side may seem. This is when we do well to immerse our minds and inner visions into that desired lifestyle, mentally becoming the person who has attained that outcome to the point that it is no longer foreign to us. In the process we must recognize our current self as our past self. We must say goodbye to who we thought we were and leave it to be devoured by the fears that the ego was using to prevent us from moving forward.