We all make choices. Some of our choices help and hurt at the same time. They are beneficial and they are uncomfortable. They are right, but they pertain to the unpopular.

When you have a debilitating illness like Motor Neurone Disease, you are offered medications which can help alleviate pain and the body’s response to illness but at the same time take their toll in other areas, such as blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, high blood pressure, weight gain etc. You get the picture.

Choices are funny like that, they are often not clear cut because one affects the other. At times, it seems like all you can do is choose the lesser of two evils.  Other times, the smallest choice causes the largest of ripples.

I wonder, how do you make the right choices in life? Choices like:
– What medication do I take, if any?
– Will I pursue that relationship?
– Should we start a family?
– Do I want quality of life or extended life?

Here is how I try to make the right choice:

Speak to experts, not loud mouths.  Knowledge or opinion doesn’t necessarily equate to wisdom.  Seek out wise people with similar values as you, who know how to use knowledge.  Often these are people who contemplate, rather than ignore, the facts and process them through a filter of experience, partnered with natural instinct.

Consider the impact on others, not just you. To the best of your ability, play out the consequences of your choices on others.  Decide if the end result is increased experiences of love for you and the ones closest to you.  If the only one that benefits from your choice is you, it may be worth reconsidering.

Search for what is instinctively right, not easy.  I’m not talking about what feels good to the senses, but what has a deep and pervading “I know” attached to it.  It reaches to the personal integrity of what you believe is morally and ethically right. In my own life, the Bible has given me some moral and ethical absolutes, and prayer helps me practice those, by God’s grace.  Sometimes the absolute outweighs the popular or the majority. The search for what is right can be just as rewarding as the final outcome.

Make friends with the unknown, not fear. Your best decision may require risk.  To have life, certain things you now live with must die: bad habits, unhealthy relationships, negative thought patterns. In this way, sometimes life is found in death.  Don’t let pride or fear stop you from changing a wrong choice or making a right one. Making the right choice, even those that hurt, is a balance between heart and head. I would encourage you to trust yourself and know yourself.  Don’t fear what others may think or allow it to keep you from exploring the unknown. Sometimes the right decision costs us something personally.

Remember this: right decisions take courage, no matter what the outcome may be.  Choosing the best life possible is within your reach.