What is the "Wisest" Choice?
Before my 15 year old dog, Ellie, made her transition in January I asked her to bring me another little scruffy-faced terrier some day who would remind me of her (actually, a terrier/chihuahua mix, to be exact).
One evening, in late January, I'm sitting in my pajamas and grab my laptop to do some late night surfing. All cozy and curled up on the couch, I start looking at terrier rescue sites. You probably know where this is going, right?
Wouldn't you know, on the first site I go to up pops this adorable little 4-month old terrier/chihuaha (and dachshund) mix named Scout who I instantly fell in love with. We applied to adopt him, were tentatively accepted (pending a home visit) and for over a month his foster Mom sent us photos and videos of this sweet little guy.
And then, as I started to look at our life the next 4 months (tons of travel and time away from home) my chest started to tighten. I knew, deep down, that this was not the right time to bring a new puppy into our world.
Even though he would have been well-cared for with a dog sitter, my heart would have broken every time I had to leave him. Plus, I wanted this little dude to get into his new forever home as soon as possible, and we wouldn't have been able to get him until later this spring.
Timing is everything.
So, I called the woman fostering little Scout and explained to her that we had changed our minds given the above circumstances. And... I felt incredibly sad. My heart broke open because I had developed such a long-distance love for this little guy over the last month.
Can you think of a time in your own life when your desire to have something was so strong and then you realized the timing to do it or have it just wasn't right?
The next morning I woke early and was still feeling heartbroken about letting go of little Scout. I put my hand on my heart as I was laying in bed. When my husband woke up and looked over at me, he asked, "What's the matter, babe?"
I told him that even though I knew I'd made the right decision I was feeling really sad.
He looked at me and said something that really made me pause: "I'm not sure I'd say you made the 'right' decision, but given our circumstances I do think you made the 'wisest' one."
It took any judgment out of it. There was no right/wrong, good/bad any longer... simply resting in this place of having made the wise decision.
As the famous Persian poet and mystic Rumi once said: “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down ”
When we see things through the lens of wisdom, we are seeing reality clearly and recognizing when misperceptions come into play.
As John Bruna, the co-founder of the Mindful Life Program, says:
"When we are able to consistently bring our minds back to the true nature of life and what is actually happening, we can engage our lives in healthy and meaningful ways - regardless of whether we are experiencing a pleasurable or not so pleasurable event. Our lives, as well as the lives of others, are filled with both. Simply knowing this empowers us to accept and respond to life as it happens instead of wishing it were different."
Of course this is easier said than done, and takes practice, but the benefit is that as we live more in touch with the reality of what 's happening (and recognize when we are getting caught up in desire, emotion or story), we can see things clearly and respond more wisely.
So, as March begins, I invite you to contemplate this question over the next month:
What is the wisest choice I could make right now?
It may not feel easy, or good, at the time. But if it aligns with your values and what you hold to be most important in life, you will feel this in your heart and your gut… and you can rest in the knowing that you are making this choice in integrity.