How many decisions will you make today? From the moment our feet hit the floor each morning, our minds are constantly churning through the many options in front of us.
“Should I have eggs or oatmeal for breakfast?”
“Do I have time to go for a run before work?”
“Could we budget for an extended family vacation this year?”
“Do I need a nap?”
“Should I quit Facebook?” (yes!)
While they take up a fair bit of energy, these daily cerebral dances rarely transform us, impact us or alter who we are (unless, of course, you’re in the midst of changing a habit- a different subject for another time).
And then, there are the decisions that we tend to keep hidden in the chest, throat, or pit of the stomach- “heart decisions” which penetrate our very being.
We rarely talk about them, and in fact, if you Google “what’s the hardest decision you’ve had to make,” nearly all the top results have to do with professional choices. Yet, these silent “heart decisions” can make us ill or strengthen us. They can rob us of our peace or gift us with spiritual insight. Sometimes, these “heart decisions” feel incredibly painful and destructive and then we realize, years after taking a fork in the road, that we actually ended up being better for it.
Heart decisions like:
“Do we give this experimental cancer treatment a try, despite the risks?”
“Should I leave my unfaithful partner, or is reconciliation possible?”
“Is it best to shut down the business and declare bankruptcy?”
“Do I tell my supervisor that I need to take long-term leave for rehab and risk being terminated from my job, or should I try to beat this addiction on my own?”
“Should I sever ties with my dysfunctional family?”
“Am I ready to love and trust again?”
There are rarely any “right” answers to heart decisions, and the only person who knows best what to do is you.
Four weeks ago, my husband and I were blessed with our miracle baby boy after years of believing that becoming parents just wasn’t in the cards for us. Of course, I wanted his entry into the world to be perfect- a calm and drug free water birth- and I did everything in my power to make it so, from attending Hypnobirthing classes to practicing daily meditations and birthing exercises for months. When my water finally broke, I walked into the hospital steeped in confidence with my essential oils and visualization tracks in hand.
However, after nearly twenty three hours of excruciating labor, our son showed signs of fetal distress and became lodged in the birth canal due to his size. My amazing Ob-Gyn left me with a decision, one that only I could make. I could either continue pushing and try a vacuum delivery, with potential significant risk to the baby, or I could go in for an emergency C-section, with risk to my own health and life. It was the type of choice our brains are not equipped for. Following a pause to surrender, I picked the latter option. After our son arrived, my doctor confirmed to me that, had I taken the natural route and proceeded with my original plan, he probably would not have made it out.
Writing this, and revisiting my emotions around that decision, still breaks me. We all have our expectations about how things SHOULD be, and about what’s fair and just. There have been still other tough choices to make along the way over this past year, adding to the scars of the heart- a gentle warrior’s breastplate, perhaps- and through this journey, I have come out changed.
I think that many people are called to the helping professions after being faced with heart decisions throughout their lives and, with that in mind, it’s time to move forward. As I have decided focus solely on my family for the next six months and Anna will be taking leave soon to welcome her baby in May, we’ve decided to put our services at Tangram on hold, and we’ll revisit where we’re at in August. We’re still here to guide you and Tangram’s social media presence, website and email will remain as is for now. If you need a referral or you have a question, send us an email.
With that written, I can no longer dip a toe into the waters of my own calling and will be pursuing writing, coaching and psychotherapy for women healing from addiction and trauma wholeheartedly when I return to work while furthering my knowledge in the meantime. And, now that my husband and I are totally baby crazy thanks to our son, I’m also hoping we’ll be blessed with another child… or five… somehow.
That’s the thing about heart decisions- their rivers of tears carry you into the belly of purpose and onto the shores of who you’re meant to be.
As always, thanks for reading.
Light & lifting,