We make numerous decisions every day. From small, rather insignificant ones, such as what socks to wear, to larger more life altering decisions.
I recently had to make a multitude of decisions regarding the care of my elderly mother. In her own words, she is 'non compos mentis' (confused)
Diagnosed years ago with dementia she has progressed in age, and in her confusion. She can take simple care of herself, but recently it is apparent that this is becoming incomplete and challenging for her.
So her care, and the implementing of it, is now based on my decisions.
In some respects this could be simple...if all parties involved are in agreement.
But these situations are seldom simple.
Perhaps there are moments of confrontation, and differences of opinions.
Still decisions need to be made ...and some times in the best interest of another.
"Challenging" is probably the most accurate word to describe some of these recent moments for me.
So how do we assess, and understand the probabilities, and consequences of the choices we make, which are often fueled by emotions, biases, and some times limited information?
How do we know that what we choose will be right?
The answer is, we don't! We can only do the best with what we have.
And what do we have?
The Buddha taught that suffering arises out of ignorance. Not meaning lack of knowledge, but a misperception of reality. If the mind is confused and self -centered, then wise choice will be unavailable to us.
By cultivating mindfulness, and loving kindness (metta) we can look at what needs to be decided without judgment, and surrender to the experience.
Staying present, and grounded, keeping the heart open, and the mind clear, to all that arises, even in times of great adversity, can be helpful tools to our often difficult decision making.