“A wise man makes his own decisions; an ignorant man follows public opinion.” –Chinese Proverb
As you may remember from a recent post, I’m planning to have surgery soon to remove benign uterine tumors, known as fibroids.
Although I felt certain then that this is the right thing to do, I’ve vacillated quite a bit—mostly because I’ve been listening to too many other people.
Some have advised me to try alternative methods to shrink the fibroids, including herbs and positive thinking. Others have reminded me this surgery could have undesirable complications and a rough recovery. And then there have been people who’ve shared their own experiences to reassure me I’ll be fine.
The friends who’ve suggested alternative treatments have pointed me toward self-help authors who’ve written about curing their own diseases through positive thinking. While I believe in the mind/body connection, I initially felt confident about my choice to seek traditional medical care.
Yet I’ve still stopped and questioned myself, wondering if perhaps other people know something I don’t.
The reality is that no one knows the one thing I want to know: what the outcome of this particular surgery will be, and whether or not I will eventually be glad that I did it.
No one knows what will come of my choice. And no one knows what is right for me. They only know they mean well and want to help—which means I need to own my decision and simply accept the unknown.
This is a frequent theme on the site, and for good reason: every day we have countless choices to make, and sometimes even the smallest ones can have major repercussions that we may later feel we could have prevented, if only we knew.
Yet we can’t. All we can do is recognize when we know all we can, trust our instincts, and then resist the urge to be swayed by everyone around us.
Of course we need to be open minded and to educate ourselves before making a choice; but in most cases, once we’ve done that, we don’t need more advice and information; we need courageous resolve. So I’ve decided firmly to commit to my surgery, despite the other options and things that could go wrong.
No one can predict our future or take responsibility for it. It’s our job to create it, if we’re brave enough to decide.
Photo by Eddi van W