10/05/2010

Stay or go, your choice

There I am, just walking, not really even thinking, being in the moment, at one with it all.

BAM! I’m hit by a sudden dilemma. A grand philosophical question. A sign painted in the window of a closed-down cafe has caught my eye:

“…to go … to stay …”

Well, crikey, um, I dunno. This is the sort of question that can root an indecisive Libran like me to the spot for hours. I could have spent all day in front of that window, weighing up the pros and cons of staying or going before making a decision.

So I stood and I thought. I took a photo. I thought some more – about my life and whether I was going somewhere or staying, which somehow implied being “stuck”. Where I had come from? Where would I go? Where am I right now? Do I even know?

And yet, relief. This scrawly-painted sign in a window reminds us that there is always a choice. You don’t have to stay. You can just GO.

Yes, it was talking about coffee. But this coffee shop has closed down. (Suffocated perhaps by the nearby chain cafe, “Beanscene” which doesn’t pose such weighty, life-evaluating questions.)

Did this cafe’s customers look at this when getting coffee and decide, upon reading this statement, to leave a violent relationship or an energy-sucking job, to leave an unhealthy situation or to stay in something good and commit to making it work…?

Was the sign writer aware of the effect their question might create on people’s lives? I mean, this is one of the greatest, most recurrent dilemmas in my life. Stay in this situation or go to the next, unknown one? Stay in this country or go to another? (I’ve repeated that one quite a lot.)

I hope this little statement stays in the window for as long as possible. I think it’s a valuable reminder of something we forget. That even when we feel locked-in to the most horrid of situations, or think ourselves trapped in a negative state of mind or hand-cuffed to an abusive person, we always have a choice.

And it really is a therapeutically healing, simple choice – go or stay. Once we make that choice we have already made huge progress.

Phew. Definitely time for some coffee …

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