There are times in our lives where we sometimes wish we had never said something or when we made an action we later regretted. "If only I had kept my big mouth shut or not done that... Everything would have been OK."
The choices we make can land others and us in deep trouble. They can be live changing. Why do we do it? It's not as if it's always a surprise to us.
Our partner says something to us in the morning, we snap back, they retaliate and snap back louder, before we know it a slanging match is in full swing and when we leave to go to work, we don't leave on good terms, we rush off, slam the door behind us and drive the car as if we were on a race track.
Can you recall the self-talk (speaking to ourselves in our mind), still having the argument in your head, going over it again and again, and thinking of even better ways to put your partner in her or his place!
Wow, aren't we cool! What a great way to treat one another.
Actually, it gets even worse. Let's play out the scenario...
We'll say the driver of the car is Tony, and his partner left behind in tears is Helen.
Tony, still driving like crazy eventually gets to work and makes himself a cup of coffee to help calm himself down. A colleague asks how he is today and Tony grumbles about his wife. Amazingly, a couple of hours later we find Tony laughing and joking with his work mates and forgotten all about Helen left at home in tears.
Tony is happy, working away, seemingly not a worry in the world.
5pm and it's time to go home. Tony says cheerio to his work mates, with a few laughs on the way out. Tony jumps into his car and heads off home, radio on and believe it or not is singing away. Then all of a sudden the mood starts to change. It's as if a dark cloud of depression has clouded Tony's mind. He starts to reflect on what happened in the morning, and going over the words exchanged between Helen and himself.
Tony starts to drive more erratically, switches the radio off, and is cursing under his breath.
On arriving home, Helen has also returned from work. Tony goes into the house, slams the door, throws his car keys on the table, and goes to the lounge-room to put on the TV. Walking past Helen, who still looks quite sad. I'm sure Helen has not had a good day.
What has happened?
I'm going to stay with Tony here. What has he done? Well, for starters he made choices. When Helen snapped at him in the morning it might have been because she was frustrated with things going on in their lives at the moment. After all, Tony is not the easiest person to live with.
Tony, whether he thinks so or not made a decision, a choice, and not a very good one. He decided to retaliate.
One thing we all have in common is the ability to make choices. These may be good or bad ones, but nevertheless, a choice. The only thing missing sometimes is the wisdom to know which way to go. There are times we need to stand up for others, and ourselves and it could get heated, but it could be the right decision depending on the circumstances.
Getting back to Tony. What sort of decision do you think he made? Good or bad? Right or wrong?
Tony made a bad decision, not only for his wife, but also for himself. Let's explain...
By Tony snapping back at Helen and maintaining his mental disharmony (for want of a better word) he can set the scene for the day for not only his wife, but also himself. But wait; half way through the day Tony is laughing and joking with his work mates. OK he is not at home with his wife, but he has changed his demeanor. Why? He made a choice to. Whether subconscious or deliberate, he changed from his angry mood on arrival, to now a happy one. He made a choice. But wait again; on Tony's way home he starts to revert back to his morning's temperament.
Why? Whether subconscious or deliberate, he made a choice.
I know sometimes people can be in bad moods all day, and again they choose to. There has to come a time when we draw a line in the sand and make a quality decision. And by quality decision, I mean one that you have determined not to back down from.
We all have alternatives to choose from. Tony at the beginning of the day could have stifled out Helen's anger by making a quality decision to try to understand why Helen is in such a state. And if it's because of Tony's attitude, we need to be man enough to take it on the chin, broaden our shoulders, and show Helen the real man she lives with.
When you are confronted with an undesirable situation, step back, assess, draw that line in the sand and determine to make a quality decision not to cross it, but find an alternative that will be a blessing to all concerned. So what, if at times you might have egg on your face, won't it be worth it?
Can we do it? Yes we can!