It’s going to be a hard week. However, as I try and deal with my crippling bouts of anxiety, I have to remind myself that it’s going to be a hard week because I did not choose the easy option. There usually are easy ways round and out of things – admitting defeat, stepping back, not fighting for beliefs or principles. There is always opportunity to pick the way of least hassle. And I didn’t.
So here I am, unhappy and anxious, and knowing I have some hard things to get through before there’s any hope of it improving. And I chose this. Every time the thought of what I’ve got to get through threatens to intimidate me into a whimpering heap, I remind myself that I am here because I refused to go the easy route. And I refused to go the easy route because that would have meant betraying someone else’s trust. Sure, I could have avoided a whole heap of trouble, expense and stress, but at what price? The loss of my self respect, the loss of my honour and integrity, and the betrayal of someone who is counting on me to get through this week, do the right things and get the right results.
From a short term perspective, acting with honour frequently isn’t safe or expedient. If immediate gain and/or ease are your priority, having integrity is just going to slow you down. But what is life without honour? What kind of a life do you have if the only thing of importance is being comfortable and safe right now? You can’t know love or relationship if you always put yourself first. Love is the act of putting something external to yourself before your own needs. The easy choices frequently do not permit that. If the rule is ‘I must be safe and comfortable at any cost’ – as it seems to be for some people – then the cost can be horrific.
In every choice we make, we choose who we are. I chose the hard way. I chose to put someone else first, and now I’ve got to follow through on the implications of that. But I’m fighting for the wellbeing of someone I love far more than I love myself, and I am demonstrating that love in a very visible and meaningful way. I may not be going to be able to get it all right, fixed and as it should be, but I will try. In terms of relationship, that I tried will mean something even if I fail. I’m afraid of failing, but far more disturbed by the potential consequences of not stepping up.
Whatever else comes, I can hold that thought as a talisman. I chose this path, and I chose it because it was the right one, and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. Wherever it goes, I will walk it still possessed of my honour, still holding a sense of self that I need not feel any kind of shame over. I may not win through the next few days, but even if I fail at this round, I won’t give up – because that too would be an easy, dishonourable choice and I have chosen to be a person who does the right thing, irrespective of the trouble it causes me.