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Equal and Opposite

I should amend my last post; it reads very much “all me” in retrospect. My goal, my hope, is to always offer my personal foibles up for your edification and growth. And there probably aren’t many of you out there on the precipice of retirement. But substitute “retirement” for whatever transition hangs in balance with yourself, whether that be getting married, having a baby, changing a job, or whatever. The unknown is always unsettling and I guess that’s my point.

The path of change is different for all of us, and unique to the situation; there is no one size fits all. But the recipe remains the same. You need to assess where you are, where you want to go, and when. But in between comes the hard part: the objective weighing of consequence.

The laws are immutable and are transferable; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Picture the action movies we’ve all seen; someone fires a weapon and the victim is hurdled backwards through a window or against the next solid object in the path to stop the flying body. Such an action has to have an equal reaction and so therefore the person shooting the weapon would be propelled in the opposite direction. Certainly the gun “kicks” with a recoil but not sufficient to throw the shooter across the room. The action and reaction are opposite and equal.

Likewise every time we make a decision, there are consequences that are equal and opposite to the reverse of the decision. But unlike physical reactions, emotional and spiritual reactions are personal to the individual. What is minor to one person is catastrophic to another. So your personal scales of justice in weighing the varying consequences of a decision will be preweighted with your personal biases, beliefs, and fears. And it’s important to know that and to recognize that. There are fears that are irrational and we know that; so those we may choose to ignore. Remember the thread I always try to weave through these thoughts – perspective. You perception of risk can be distorted by your perspective and filters. And sadly that can result in making the wrong decision; fear of a reaction based upon past demons can lead you into a bad decision.

So how to avoid that? Disassociation – separate yourself from the emotions, from the personal. Sometimes it may help to write it out, as in a story. Develop a character and set the situation, then play out the reactions from the decision for that character. But do so in a story mode, so that your own perceptions don’t sway the outcome. Or use a spreadsheet with the pros and cons, whatever works for you.

The point is that major decisions are hard; change is hard, departure of the norm is difficult. I have been making the 12 min. trip to work since I was 18 years old, often 7 days a week for weeks on end. I don’t know how to not go there. But I’ve decided it’s time to learn. The lesson, I think, is that trust your inner voice, trust your own personal decision making process, accept that fear is a healthy and normal reaction, expect that the reaction will be equal and opposite the action, and go into it open to accept the new and different facets that life will undoubtedly provide for you. It’s still foggy, but there is no doubt that at some point soon, I will step out of that fog into something wonderful.

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