I awoke with a haircut I gave myself after drinking a bottle of wine, I had spent money on asinine things, and I said vicious things to people I love.
I have done all of those things more than once. Life is a series of experiences and challenges. We’re all here on earth, spirits embedded in flesh vehicles, learning and evolving. The consequences of our actions, desired or undesirable, serve as road signs.
When I woke up with monstrous hair and a hangover to match, I was gently reminded the best choices don’t often coexist with alcohol.
A financial deficit spawned by a $1000 weekend trip prompted me to reevaluate my priorities. I learned I needed to set boundaries, and not allow my feelings to build up and explode. After every poor decision, I’d go back to the drawing board to discover a better way of being.
At one point, I believed I had it all figured out. I stopped partying, I had a savings account, I read 8,234 ½ books on communication and feelings, and I was setting boundaries. My future looked bright, surrounded by all the gold stars I had given myself for learning and growing. I was an adult! Gold star for me! As I was closing the “folly of youth” chapter in my life, something magical happened.
I blew it. I made a decision which encompassed every wrong decision I had ever made, and new bad decisions I’d never dreamt of making.
I messed up so bad I couldn’t blame it on wine, priorities, or bottled up feelings. There was no drawing board to go back to because the drawing board caught on fire and burnt into the sky. Worst, it wasn’t at an excusable 23 years old that I created this devastation, it was at the seemingly smarter age of 31 when I made the worst decision that changed my life.
I got married. Ironic. I thought marriage was the right choice; after all, it’s so “adult.” Admittedly, I should have earned another gold star; but instead, this decision made it apparent I hadn’t made as much progress as I believed. I actively chose to ignore my intuition and every red flag. I knew it was the worst decision I would ever make when I made it, but I did it anyway.
I never went too deep when learning my lessons.
As a sensitive person, it was far too painful. What I had learned was superficial, and I had been efficiently hiding from pain, intuition, and empathy my entire life. In the months leading up to the wedding, I crawled deep into an apathetic part of myself. I was convinced I could just keep moving forward blindly. Numb.
It is hard to stay numb when you have locked yourself in a cage with someone who hurts you.
I began to shatter, periodically awakened from my numbness as I walked over broken pieces of myself that had fallen to the ground. My intuition grew louder, a high-pitched siren, “You’ve gone too far this time, get out.” I became fatigued from resisting the pain and lost the ability to fight against it. So, I gave up and allowed myself to feel for the first time in my life. It was excruciating. Not only did I feel my own pain, I felt everyone else’s. It became difficult to breathe, until one day the pain grew so unbearable I snapped. It wasn’t an explosive snap; it was very subtle like waking up from a dream.
All of a sudden, everything became clearer.
I was dragging my ex-husband through my darkest shadows just as much as he was pulling me through his. He no longer appeared to me as a villain, but as a frustrated child trying to force a square peg into a round hole. We were not on the same wavelength anymore, and not going to be anytime soon. So, I left him there, still trying to force a square peg into a round hole, and set off to fix myself for once.
The lessons I had thought I learned weren’t ever about drinking too much wine, having poor priorities, or becoming an expert communicator.
They were those of patience, discipline, compassion, and vulnerability; but I would have never seen that had I not been in so much pain. Life is a series of experiences and challenges which we choose for ourselves before we arrive, and it is often up to us how difficult it is. Our intuition can be a far more significant road sign than negative consequences; but only if we are listening.
The worst decision I ever made woke me up, and now I am listening.