June 6, 2019

The simplicity of hard choices

I've been thinking about hard decisions. We often frame them as choices between right vs wrong or good vs bad. Even simpler than that is the question I ask myself: will I like who I am more or less based on what I decide?

My ex-husband was an abusive narcissist. I watched him make choice after choice to become that person. At first they were very small decisions, not even perceptible as good vs bad. At the end of two years, however, he was no longer recognizable as himself. I learned that every choice to sacrifice your ethics for convenience or selfishness compounds. A tiny compromise now becomes difficult or impossible to recover from when repeated enough times.

Today I had the opportunity to believe a friend or not. Faced with an uncomfortable fact, what do I do? I chose to set aside the ego I had in my own judgement and trust someone else's experience. I didn't need to know both sides of the issue because only one side mattered: my friend's. I know the power of being believed and having my experiences valued. Being able to do that for others is a gift.


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