I’ve made bad decisions my whole life.
As a spawn of inspirational jest, my young twenty year-old self sunk into the plethora of articles and viral content about old people being asked what they regret about their lives. I considered my early twenties to be a spiteful gift that can steer the course of the whole journey. A true test of character, I figured that this was my opportunity to find, to discover, and be able to prowl my way into the dark waters of my unknown future, held within the grasp of my sweaty palms, holding onto pens, hands, lovers and friends, and letting go of it all.
These old people didn’t regret anything they did. Not one thing. They did, however, regret what they did not do. It is the formula for all the things we imagine doing, but don’t, that divides us from the fantastical life of our imagination and the mundane prison run by fear and doubt.
It seems that the imaginations of our heart that rile us up become haunting ghosts of our untapped potential. Have you ever wondered, “what if?” To be haunted by “wrong” decisions is the decision of not acting on intuitive blueprint of our lives. We innately know that it is a “wrong” decision when we betray our hearts to concede with expected, “responsible” behavior. It is as if only select few can enjoy the “taboo” nature that thrives in the secrets of life, of self discovery, in personal freedom, while the majority must abide to socially constructed behavior. We are inundated with advice and wisdom from other people’s realities…how do we authentically find our own journey? Bad decisions.
Yes, bad decisions. What is a bad decision? A “bad” decision is one that is made with some personal, non-negotiable risk, with consequences we cannot take back, for the development of our own character. We are culturally influenced to think a decision is bad when it involves a personal risk based on the reasoning of one’s internal guidance alone and presents a unique perspective and lifestyle. Personal decisions as such threaten cultural trends, social predictability, and mass control. We are programmed to believe that acting our inner desires is inherently bad and flawed, to some degree.
I always felt that it was bad to do what I wanted. It was “good” to consider others, to do what’s right for the family, to respect their opinions and feelings…at my expense. Through social conditioning, I had repressed myself from a young age. Repression is a betrayal of the self, and you cannot get that time in your life back. Being ‘good’ became bad for me, and being ‘bad’ was so good for me. The life I am proud of is the composite of all my “bad decisions.”
Every “bad” decision made was purely from the irrational feelings of my heart, or insecure constructs of ego. Every bad decision I made had brought me to a deeper sense of awareness of myself, of people, of life. Every bad decision I made exposed my heart and made myself more vulnerable and thus more open to learning.
I’ve gotten good at making bad decisions. I gotten even better at making horrible ones. I have mastered the art of fasting in order to push myself creatively. I’ve become skilled in loving deeply, as hard as I could, and let go instantly, mending my emotions more efficiently each time. I’ve been humored with the irony of life enough to snicker at every dark corner I reach within my own mind. I’ve become familiar with saving myself, using my thoughts like a ladder that pulls me out of my own pitfalls. I have rebelliously went against everything my mother ever told me, and it has defined part of my character I would have not discovered otherwise. Wise decisions are said to be made with timeless advice from ancestors. I have come to face age-old lessons in my life, not because they were told to me, but because I lived them and graded my own soul with that experience. I don’t want to carry out a path from others, but to create my own. I’ve put myself in some bad situations and came out better because of it. Not better because I am somehow happier or magically improved, but I am more self-aware, more investigative over my imagination, more initiatory over my desires, tending more to my internal world of ideas and paying homage to that. Consider each bad decision to be the dynamite that clears the way for your self.
The blueprints of our lives are intuitively read to us. Do we listen to our actual story? Doing so is authentically living, making our own decisions, which many of the time, will not be understood or expected from others…but this is your life. Find your “bad” decisions, the ones that challenge what is already known, the ones that deepen your character. The drive is in you for a reason, don’t suppress and repress yourself.
When we feel “bad” from a “bad” decision, we can ask ourselves, “why do I feel this way?” “What does this show me about myself? What do I see now? How do I feel?” It’s important to really grab what is happening inside of us and shake it free of disguises and hold it in the light. In doing so, we must not sit on a “bad” decision , as it is just as bad as avoiding one all together. We must keep the flow of our experience, even if that is from one self-revealing “bad” decision to another.
What do you do when you take that irreversible risk of discovering more of who you are and what you’re made of? Live the epic, legendary life that unfolds the soul, and discover the nature of who you are, your core, your strength. Make the decisions you truly feel, the ones that may be irrational, taboo, and risky, and reveal to yourself the shape of your life journey through the unique formula of your soul. Become so good at being bad that your very presence is bad for the nullifying “good” that steals souls and dissipates dreams. Become your fantasy, live your imagination, and utilize every “bad” as a self-illuminating experience.