Sometimes, it isn’t always clear that we are on the wrong path in life until we are too far down it to easily turn around.
We have all had an experience like this at least once before.
We spent years engaging in self-damaging behaviors only to wake up one day and finally see what we were doing to ourselves. We dug ourselves into deep debt mindlessly, only to pay the consequences later. We spent years in a relationship that had an expiration date, and we were sidelined to discover we had invested so much of our lives into something that was only ever temporary.
Once we have an experience like this, it’s easy to want to spend the rest of your life worrying that it may happen again, that you might wake up one day to find that one mistake after the next lead you to a place you didn’t want to be.
You imagine that hypervigilance will take care of this — that if you think through it enough, and second-guess yourself often, maybe you’ll be able to avoid the heartbreak.
Except you won’t.
The absolute honest truth is that when you are actually on the wrong path in life you know the entire time — when you finally have no choice but to come to terms with it, you have the epiphany.
The honest truth is that if you are on the wrong path, you already know.
You knew what you were doing when you were engaging in self-destructive behaviors, there was no point in time at which you fooled yourself into thinking what you were doing was healthy or okay.
You knew what you were doing when you were getting into debt, you just had enough mental ammunition to keep justifying it and convincing yourself that it was the right thing to do.
You knew that your relationship was going to end, because you knew that it wasn’t that good all along. No good relationship ends in the first place, why would it? We never leave people we truly love and value and care for. Relationships that end are relationships that need to end, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the signs were there all along.
The point is that you don’t ever lose your moral compass, you just talk yourself out of it at times in order to serve yourself best.
Your innate understanding of right and wrong never really goes away, it just gets clouded by fear, by attachment, by the idea that what’s in front of you is the best you may ever have.
Your acknowledgement that self-destructive behaviors are bad for you is clouded by the fact that they bring you comfort, which you convince yourself means it is, somehow, justified.
Your understanding that you were getting into more debt than you could handle was covered by a bigger fear, which was whatever you believed you had to use it to pay for instead of getting real with yourself about the fact that you couldn’t afford your lifestyle.
Your realization that you were in the wrong relationship was completely ignored because you were terrified of what the future might hold, and desperate to know that maybe, just maybe, this certain someone could be beside you while you figured it all out.
If you want to spend your life worrying that you’re making mistakes, don’t bother.
Deep down, you already know.
You already know that the job you’re at isn’t for you forever.
You already know that you need to clean up your game, and get your act together.
You already know what the issues in your relationship are, and you already know whether or not you’re willing to work through them.
You already know what you need to do, and what you don’t.
You know it even if you want to pretend you do not know it, and the longer you do that, the more lost you’re going to be.
Your “big mistakes” in life never occurred because you were blind to their consequences, they occurred because you deluded yourself into thinking it was the right thing to do when you knew it wasn’t.
Getting honest with yourself is the best form of self-protection there is.
Give that to yourself, and go forward with faith, with knowing that you can trust yourself, because you are no longer going to lie to yourself — even if the truth is inconvenient.