All of us have made choices that connect us to the life we are currently living. We may have chosen to do something or not do something, to avoid pain or face it head on, to deal with our emotions or shortcomings or run far from any emotion or faults. No matter how or what we chose, we are in life where we have chosen to be.
Many of our choices are permanent and cannot be changed without much anguish, they can feel like a bolt that will never move. That is both a good thing and a bad thing. The bolts hold us in place and makes sure nothing moves, which means we don’t have much choice but to go with it and follow the path before us. One choice builds on another, then another, and before we know it we are down a path we never imagined could happen.
I spoke to a woman recently who was facing the reality of her choices; she was pondering trying to remove one of the bolts in your life. It was a difficult and painful process purely because she no longer wanted the “boat anchor” (her words) of the choice she had made. It would impact her finances, her career, and most importantly how she viewed herself. In her case working hard to turn the bolt was admitting failure and defeat. Years of her life had been put into a venture that was now very obviously failing. She had reached the point where all she wanted was out and the bolt wasn’t very easy to move.
It takes guts to change our lives; it takes guts to live with the lives we have chosen. Not every decision or choice we make turns out exactly as we anticipated. One of my favorite sayings is, Character is living up to the commitment even after the emotion that led you to make that commitment is gone. Those can be tough words to hear when you are facing failure and time has run out. It can be awful to hear that the choices we made have installed some immoveable bolts. It can be hard to see someone you care about working feverishly to avoid failure when it is right in front of them.
Sometimes bolts don’t move. Some bolts eventually move and loosen, while others never budge. As adults we have to live with the bolts we have installed and deal with them. Move the ones we can or live with the ones we can’t. Wisdom is knowing which ones to try to move and which ones to leave in place.
Know the difference between moving forward and removing bolts; it is not always one in the same. Sometimes the best course it to leave well enough alone and put your efforts into what you can change, what you can do, what you can remove…then keep going. Chances are tomorrow there will be another train.