When we first got married, I would stand in the grocery store agonizing forever about what brand of toilet paper to buy. The cheap stuff gives you paper cuts. But it's just being flushed so I don't want to splurge on the expensive stuff. Dilemmas dilemmas! It was the same with a lot of decisions, whether big or small -- I felt like there was a right or wrong, and I was dreadfully afraid of choosing wrong. I've always had a perfectionistic streak, but I didn't realize how strong it was until I got married, left my parents' house, and suddenly had to stand on my own without a safety net.
I think I've gotten better over the years about the small choices. I've learned that sometimes there is no right or wrong to a decision, only preference. I don't die if I make a mistake, and usually one can undo a decision and choose again. Some things just don't matter.
However, some of the big decisions still defeat me. I find myself dithering and putting off taking any action for fear of messing up. But really, lack of action is itself an action and has consequences of its own. Part of the issue is that my decisions affect so many other people. I'm not free to just act for myself; I have all these other family members to take into consideration. My preferences and what would work for everyone don't always coincide.
The church teaches that we should make a decision and then pray about it to know if it is right. I admit sometimes I avoid asking the question, though, because I already know what the answer will be and I don't like it. If I get an answer I have to abide by it, and I may not be ready to do that. Am I the only one who does this? A wise person once told me that sometimes you know something is right and you submit to doing it, but it doesn't mean you are happy about it. I mean, Abraham may have known it was right to be obedient to the command to sacrifice Isaac, but that doesn't mean he was tranquil about it. I found that bit of wisdom comforting. A feeling of turmoil doesn't mean you are on the wrong track, necessarily. It might actually mean you are very close to making the right decision, and it's a matter of aligning your head with your heart. At least we haven't been left alone to try to muddle along by ourselves without guidance.
So this week's verse is 2 Nephi 32:5 -- For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do.