Being Kind to Your Self, Your Choices.


Sometimes, staring at your dog makes you envious of a life that's Hakuna Matata-filled (pause here because I just have to sing that song briefly; yes, you can sing along too) and devoid of heavy complications other than merely, perhaps, the occasional fleas and canine vendetta against the feline community. And yes, the everyday personal struggle to tell the master that the food ration is never enough.

Then again, I've learned to be careful about what I wish for, and I do think about this whenever I dream or think of something I don't have. It's almost like a memory of you as a child understanding why you should never do this or that, or go here or there...as what your nanny would tell you because you just might get yourself hurt. It's a lesson on taking time to think things over because, as Jason Mraz puts it, there's really no need to hurry when you're making up your mind.

So while I brush the silent 'I wish I was just a dog' prayers away tonight, and stare at Phoebe, figuring out as always what she may be dreaming about, I also reflect on the human tendency to disown choices that have been ours all along. 

It is easy to shift focus from ourselves to those which we believe are beyond our control on occasions that we do not want to feel or be seen as weak. How many times have people blamed the traffic for being late in a class or a meeting, totally neglecting the truth that we woke up late and just did not move fast enough to make it on the bus or train on time? How many times have people blamed others' incapacities for problems in which we, ourselves, are also involved--whether it's a small project, work, or even global issues that surround us?

Embracing the everyday choices that we made, which have resulted in outcomes that do not favor us at all, does not mean that we are weak; rather, it communicates, quite stunningly (if I do say so myself), that we are brave enough to acknowledge our humanness (if there is a word) and our propensities to fail and learn. After all, there will always be lessons to bring home from our mistakes--mistakes that we encounter as a result of our choices.

I believe that it is in being compassionate towards these choices that we make that we are able to move forward as wiser individuals. We learn to change our habits to allow us to arrive on time for class or work or a date or meet-up with a friend. We learn to proactively participate in any work that we do, and  do the best that we can to deliver our individual commitments, while also uplifting others towards a shared goal. We learn to look at ourselves and accept our bad choices as readily as we would acknowledge our good ones. We learn to accept that there were indeed wishes that we made, which we were not careful about, and that those were, yes, our choices--never imposed by the universe or by others or by your pet dog or cat, but by us who are capable of thinking and deciding and celebrating this human power.

Truth is, sometimes, the most exemplary individuals in all of us emerge not in grand moments of recognition and worldly praises, but in those moments when we falter yet compassionately accept that we are built with faults which allow us to make spectacularly bad choices. 


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