There are no bad decisions, there I said it.
That may seem easy to say and reductive in the long view of a heinous and hateful history that all humans share and that we all either suffer from or have privilege from. Yet in the end, on the personal level, the lessons we take from the mistakes we make are the ones that teach us the best. With that logic, if all mistakes are lessons and all lessons are inherently in service of growth, there are no true mistakes.
If we trust in Universe, The Way, God, then we trust that all things happen for a reason. Even if we trust in none of those things, trust in the self and the nature of things. By doing that, we feel no ill will towards ourselves or others. It’s a stoic philosophy, not spiritual or intangible, it just is the way. When we reach this conclusion, even in the face of great pain and loss, everything becomes lighter and warmer.
“With each object of experience consider its origin, its constituents, what it is changing into, what it will be when changed – and that no harm will come to it.” – Meditations 11.17
See through the hurt and ask yourself, what have you learned? What have you learned about yourself and what have you learned about the object that leaves its mark on you? What mark is this, even? Scars are lessons, even the unseen ones and a reminder that we heal and move on. A friend said to me on Thursday, “grow and go“.
So what in the grand scheme of history, am I saying that the atrocities of the past and present are inherently good? No, those things are unjust and manifestations of wanton vice. What did we learn from them? Aside from learning about better ways to kill each other, what did we learn? Too many lessons for me to count here, but we grow as a people, united as kin. On the macro and micro, we grow. Even in the darkest of nights, there is dawn on the horizon and that will never change, not until the Sun swallows the Earth and by then, perhaps we would have transcended to the stars to a new form of being.
“You should meditate often on the connection of all things in the universe and their relationship to each other. In a way all things are interwoven and therefore have a family feeling for each other: one thing follows another in due order through the tension of movement, the common spirit inspiring them, and the unity of all being.” – Meditations 6.38
Another way of thinking about it is this: locked yourself out of the house? Call the locksmith. If it ever happens again, you will know who to trust to get the job done. Miss an opportunity to ask out the person you are in love with? You have learned never put anything off again, never procrastinate. Like me, have you eaten something without checking the ingredients for allergens? You will suffer sure, but you will not be so careless again and you will handle it better next time at least.
Love all of your decisions. Amor fati.
Love all of their decisions as opportunities to be better, to learn to be better and not be like your enemy. Amor fati.
Love circumstance, you will learn to find strength in yourself and what you have. Amor fati.
“A stone thrown in the air: nothing bad for it on the way down or good for it on the way up.” – Meditations 9.17