I found myself saying this today to someone, "Sometimes the best decisions are the most difficult ones to make."
Today I had a wedding scheduled. I showed up at the appointed place and time and proceeded to wait for my couple. A man drove up alone but he waved at me and so I knew it was my groom. I greeted him with a smile and a question, "what did you do with your lovely bride to be?"
He responded, "We decided not to get married."
In almost 30 years of doing weddings, this has only happened to me one other time. It does happen, but rarely. I shared with this man the story of the other time it had happened, in the hopes that it would allow him to feel a bit better, knowing he wasn't the only one to experience this. While he wasn't talking much, it was clear to me that he was upset.
I wanted to comfort him, and to counsel him. See, that's what I do. I counsel people, and I comfort them, both in my role as a counselor and my role as a minister with Centers for Spiritual Living. He didn't want counseling, he wanted to go and sit on the beach. I let him go, and returned to my car, and on the drive home I thought about a few things.
One of those things is that there are some decisions in life that need to be made, and acted upon, and some of them take great courage. When we listen to that still small voice within, sometimes it might tell us things that we really don't want to hear, and yet, that voice is the voice of wisdom, and we can't go wrong when we heed it, even if it means short term distress or discomfort.
Another thing that crossed my mind is that as a minister I get to hear all the stories, and while compassion is a good thing, I need to remember not to carry those stories, or I will be unable to help the people who come to me. Just today, in addition to my almost groom, I had a chance to counsel a man who was terribly worried about his child, and another who made a trip to the emergency room, and yet another who recently suffered the death of a parent. And I prayed for them all, because sometimes that is all I can do. I can't carry the stories, I can only have compassion for the people experiencing them.
I was moved to write about this today because life is so sweet, and so precious, and sometimes, things happen. When it does, I hope you can find some comfort, some way, some how. I hope you know that I am holding the light for you. I hope you know that this too shall pass, and when it does, you will, sooner or later, know the reason why, and be grateful. Until then, take care of yourself, be gentle, ask for help, and allow people like me to hold the high watch for you.