It’s estimated that we make about 35,000 decisions each day. Many will be the same decisions as yesterday’s and tomorrow’s. But some can radically change the course of your life.
A life-saving decision
When the North Tower of the World Trade Center got hit, one woman working in the South Tower immediately turned to her boss, said goodbye, and left. While others dutifully stayed to carry on working, she made the snap decision that she valued her life more than her job security. By the time the South Tower was hit, she was already safely in the subway and on her way back home.
It could have gone the other way, of course. If the North Tower had been the only one that was hit, she would probably have lost her job. It was a gamble she was willing to take. And it paid off. That instant decision undoubtedly saved her life.
Stopping addiction before it starts
Other decisions we make may not seem so obviously life-changing at the time, but with hindsight they are.
A woman I know in her early 60s had some complicated oral surgery and was prescribed opioid painkillers to take afterwards. She’s the kind of person who rarely takes any medications, but this was different. When the anaesthetic wore off, the agony was so intense that she immediately reached for an opioid pill and took it.
The pain disappeared within minutes.
‘And then something interesting happened,’ she said. ‘I started feeling goooood. Not just an absence of pain, but an unfamiliar feeling of floating and being unaware of any earthly issues. I don’t know how I looked on the outside to my husband, but I must have walked around the house with a blissful grin on my face. No worries. No problems. Detached. Goooood’.
Eight hours later, the pain returned and was so unbearable that she took another opioid, which took her back to the same blissful state.
‘It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. And I realized that not only was I not comfortable with it, I was actually a bit scared,’ she admitted. ‘I felt that if I took a third pill, I would possibly be lost’.
In this situation, many people would take the easy route and continue the medication that had been prescribed, believing there was no other way. But she heard the warning bells and took note.
At the point just before the goooood feeling of the second pill waned, while there was still no pain, she made the conscious decision to take no more opioids. She asked her husband to go to their local store to buy the lowest strength over-the-counter painkiller available, and she managed her pain with the lowest possible dose of that over the following days.
‘This experience opened my eyes and changed my opinion of drug addicts’, she said. ‘We all have some flaws, weaknesses or issues with will. But exposed to the type of drugs that are purposefully designed to get as many of us hooked as possible, many of us do not stand a chance and succumb. And not because we are all weaklings.’
Her prescription contained only 12 pills. Yet studies have found that addiction often starts within a few days. According to the Mayo Clinic, ‘After just five days of prescription opioid use, the likelihood that you’ll develop long-term dependence on these drugs rises steeply’.
The decisions we make
Some of the decisions we make in life don’t seem to matter much at all. Others can have massive, life-changing consequences, such as staying a few more minutes in the South Tower to see what happens or continuing to take opioid pills because you’ve been told to.
We mostly have no idea at the time which decisions will ultimately turn out to be important ones and which will not. However, once in a while it happens that a higher part of ourselves intervenes. It KNOWS what is the right thing to do and can clearly see the repercussions if we take the wrong path. If we listen to that part of ourselves instead of ignoring it, this can save us untold grief.
If you look back at your own life, with the benefit of hindsight you may be able to identify some decisions you made in this way, that changed the course of your life. It is possible to develop specific subtle body structures to cultivate this ability to the extent that you can navigate your entire life in that way. The “the clear fountain”, described in Samuel Sagan’s Atlantean Secrets novels gives a flavour of this, and understanding how it works is covered in the The Seven Levels of Consciousness online course that Richard and I teach.
Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2021
How to navigate through life with integrity
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