“At the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.”

― Cassandra Clare

I could make choices as I pleased, but I couldn’t escape the repercussions that trailed behind my decisions. You see, when it came to choices, the power often eluded us. The die was cast, the moment we set our hearts on something. It’s about the faith and hope we entrusted to the hands of others, and that’s what weighed heaviest on me in this earthly existence. Why must we leave the course of our lives in someone else’s hands, granting them the authority to chart our destinies? There was something I desired with every fiber of my being, and I was prepared to offer it all, but then, a choice had to be made. That choice promised an irreversible transformation, a new path to tread. These intersections only served to complicate the journey, tangling the roads before me. I often contemplated how different life might have been if different choices had been made.

The choices I etched into my existence with my first kiss, my inaugural night of love, my maiden heartbreak, and my initial plunge into marriage, could they possibly have sculpted the person I’ve metamorphosed into today? It’s conceivable that they did, and with it, my life’s purpose underwent a transformation as well. The ability to stitch together two fractured hearts, souls that once weaved their lives together only to find themselves at a crossroads where the path forward seemed impenetrable, would such a power be a blessing or a curse? Should I reconsider that choice, a safeguard for my own soul, or should I cherish the opportunity to mend two hearts that nearly lost one another?

“You are not the victim of the world, but rather the master of your own destiny. It is your choices and decisions that determine your destiny.”
― Roy T. Bennett

Initially, it was my youthful hesitations that plagued me. I remember those moments when paralyzed by fear, I stood before him, the moonlight casting its silvery glow upon him as he uttered those fateful words: “I love someone else.” The sweet escapades that once unfolded beneath the veil of the night, right after the late-night train had rumbled by, suddenly seemed insignificant. Those hours spent walking in the darkness, a heady mix of fear and excitement, with the knowledge that it would all fade away by morning, held no meaning anymore. A choice had been made, and there was no turning back.

Secondly, there was the shock of being abandoned without a shred of explanation, all for the sake of someone in a far-off land. I’d learned to cherish those frigid winters, wrapped in the warmth of thick blankets, and the new melodies that serenaded us through the night until dawn broke. Even the ice-cold coffee savored in that desolate space, and a mother who always knew what was best for her son, even though he had already departed, couldn’t offer answers to my lingering questions. Once again, a choice had been irrevocably made.

Thirdly, I surrendered to a wandering soul incapable of charting its course. It was wiser to abandon something that could never come to fruition, especially when everything disintegrated before my eyes, shattering into fragments that would forever transform my heart—that particular period granted me a taste of liberation and the audacity to seize control of any situation. For that, I remain eternally grateful. As for the remainder of that time, it simply faded away as if it had never existed, and if it were ever to reappear before me, I would merely encounter a specter, destined to vanish into the ether. The die had been cast long ago.

Lastly, came the experience that shattered me to the core and subsequently rebuilt me into the strongest version of myself. This time, the choice swung in my favor. Without that towering moment, I might never have comprehended that the intricate web of life is crafted for those who hold faith, unlike someone as obstinate as I was.

“Because to take away a man’s freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.”
― Madeline L’Engle

Afterward, it was YOU. In a single moment, I managed to forget everything I had known before and placed my trust in love once more. It took just one glance, one fleeting moment, and the world around us came to a standstill. I had spent an entire lifetime meticulously clearing the paths and charting a secure course for my journey, and then you came along, adorning my way with exquisite flowers. Your presence was like the softest, most delicate petals, leaving me breathless. You carried with you an enchanting aroma of almond honey on your lips and the subtle scent of cedarwood in your hair. Your beauty and charm were something to be admired for a lifetime. Counting the sparks in my eyes wouldn’t suffice to capture that moment, but it was merely a fleeting flash in the middle of my journey. The nighttime has a way of weaving illusions, and not everything we see is real. Your gaze was unlike any I’d ever encountered before; your touch was entirely new; and your kiss, a sensation previously unfelt. Once again, I was at a crossroads, blinking lights pointing in different directions, urging me to turn left or right. The silver moon and the radiant stars had vanished, and in their place were no more than the signs guiding me toward a decision. Choices are meant to change the course we’re on, but they also change the very essence of who we are. Choices are destined to complicate what we may never fully understand and what we might never experience again. And so, a choice was made once more.

Moving on from a decision is both a demonstration of strength and an admission of vulnerability. It is a continuous oath I make, yet one that I consistently find myself breaking. The sole means of avoiding the repercussions of a choice is never to be part of the options available.

“I find the best way to love someone is not to change them, but instead, help them reveal the greatest version of themselves.”

Steve Maraboli

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