“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” ~William James
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about right and wrong. Not the big moral issues — I’m not planning a crime spree or scheming anything illegal — just the internal debates we have about right and wrong that keep us from moving forward. Thoughts like:
- What if I make the wrong choice?
- Which path is the right one for me?
- I don’t want to make a mistake again.
These kind of thoughts keep us in limbo. They may inspire additional research into options, but most likely, they aren’t motivating us to take action. We stay stuck in an internal debate, rather than fully living.
One way this recently showed up in my life is in fabric. One of my sisters asked me to make a quilt out of the materials we used in her daughter’s nursery 11 years ago. There are limited amounts of each material, and I can’t go to the store to buy more of these specific patterns. I’ve put off making the quilt for a few years, and finally asked myself why I was procrastinating. I realized I was scared to “mess it up.” If I don’t do it “right,” all that is left of these materials will be destroyed. I know how important this is to my sister, and could be to my niece, and I would like it to be a treasure for them both. But adding this extra pressure on myself meant that the scraps of material were still sitting here with me, and not being enjoyed.
Here’s a radical idea: Maybe there is no right or wrong. Consider for a moment that even the so-called mistakes you made in your past and the so-called wrong choices have gotten you to this point. You probably learned from each of those experiences, and quite possibly, you learned MORE about those “wrong” choices than the “right” ones you made.
These paralyzing thoughts can hold us back in our careers, in our relationships, and yes, even in our quilt-making! Ask yourself why you’re not making a decision. Perhaps you need more information. If so, do the necessary research. But don’t sit on the sidelines and not make a choice just because you’re afraid of doing it “wrong.”
For me, knowing that I wanted to do a very good job, I am taking extra time to plan and measure before cutting. I’m not rushing this project, but I am making progress. And while I know that none of my quilts are ever technically perfect, they can be perfect expressions of love.