What You Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

By Ariel Minter

The birds are singing again, the flowers are in full bloom, and there are trees that are so beautiful they look as though they belong in a Dr. Seuss book. The thunderstorms seem to be passionate about the seemingly never-beginning warm weather. And I don’t know what to do.

A person very close to me made the statement “Mistakes in life aren’t really mistakes unless you keep making the same ones over again.” My first emotion after they said that? Guilt. 

Now, I won’t go into detail, but I have made the same mistakes over and over again. This guilt that I feel is all encompassing. It’s worse than just simply making the same mistake again and again – it’s KNOWINGLY making the same mistake a plethora of times. My friends’ statement sort of rattled my day, week and weeks, even to this moment. 

If I have continued to make the same mistakes, in fact chosen to make them again, is that worth some kind of moral judgment? Does my lack of self-control and over-indulgence in what-have-you mean that I, am in fact, morally wrong?

The way I have handled my decision-making hasn’t always been done well. In moments of high stress I have acted out immaturely, inappropriately, and out of character. Or perhaps in character of my inner-child self that insists, “life isn’t fair.”

When I react out of pain, that’s usually what I get in return.

These choices have led me to a place of not-knowing. What can I do when I don’t know what to do?  I understand that there are a lot of question marks in this particular blog. But it is a question that I think I may have found a pretty good resolve with. Please understand that it is not an answer, and it may not give you the same peace it has given me.

What you do when you don’t know is this…accept it. Welcome the thunderstorm. You feel overwhelmed by your guilt? That’s okay. I do not condone acting like a child throwing a fit at life when it isn’t fair. Or making the same mistakes repeatedly out of that selfish fit. But I have found that fighting it and refusing to accept the circumstances only leads to waking up and thinking “Dear Lord, what did I do?! AGAIN.”

It’s really hard to be nice to someone if you’re putting him or her down all the time. And that counts for you. Instead of vowing to change everything all at once realize who you are is pretty great. But, you are always worth a whole lot more. So, baby steps are important. I’ve learned that short-term resistance to old (negative) patterns of behavior lead to long-term success.

Fortunately, the choice is always yours. You can always make new ones.