PER ASPERA AD ASTRA: Decisions that make and break

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By Xenia S. Estrella

How do we know when we’re making the right decisions during times when our hearts and our minds seem to be leaning toward different directions?  What do we need to work on in order to be, ‘ok’, with ourselves knowing that decision-making moments may very well be life-altering situations in our lives?  Are we strong enough to endure both of life’s successes and failures?

When my daughter was 6 years old, I went to my first “serious” Parent-Teacher-Conference in school.  She was a straight-A student as well as an exemplary conduct recipient (hey, she was only in the first grade after all).  I couldn’t be more proud.  As I talked to one of her subject teachers there, that pride within me was compounded by even more gratitude, as well as an important realization because my baby girl was doing things right in life at 6 years old.  I was very thankful, for both her grades and the time that God was giving me to be her mom.  As she grows older, I thought, more important than the grades is my duty to make sure that I hone her as best as I could in forming good habits that will develop in her the right kind of beliefs that would cover her throughout her young and adult life, so she can be a happy, productive and meaningful member of society through good times and despite any adversity.  She won’t be perfect, but her roots will probably carry her through every encounter she experiences in her lifetime.


Robin has always been successful in her career.  She was a straight-A student in school, was head of her school organization, then went on to getting an MBA from a prestigious Ivy League business school in the US; nailing an executive position in a prestigious company, afterwards.  At some point in her life, she got married and was happy, thinking she had everything she needed in life. That is, up until her husband cheated on her and she put a bullet in her head when she found out.


Resiliency is a necessary ability to get up from a slump which, obviously, life is bound to offer each and every person throughout a lifetime.  Those of us who can cope with the ups and downs that life throws at us every time can more easily find appreciation for these and be happy. Others, on the other hand, might end up living in misery for long periods of time.

Let’s practice some ways to develop our resiliency muscles, shall we?

  1. When trials come, let’s ask ourselves, “What is this teaching me?”, instead of, “Why is this happening to me?”

Let’s always be thankful for what we have and be positive even when walls are tumbling down.  Let’s also keep our minds open, knowing that every situation has an ending and that our state of being when that ending comes is always more important than any reason for things happening, which we cannot take back;

  1. Know that it’s ok to grieve, if necessary.

Be sad when our decisions don’t get us what we want.  It’s fine to accept that we’re only human.  

  1. Let’s set a deadline when we should start getting out of feeling miserable and, slowly getting back on our feet in order to catch up with life once more;
  2. Let’s learn to constructively laugh at ourselves and our life situations.

Mistakes in making decisions happen.  Lousy days come.  My friends, we need to get a good hold of our convictions so we can live with ourselves through any misfortune and not be pulled in any way, into an attitude of despair, regret,  defeat and self pity, should certain decisions we make somehow lead to, whether minor or major, lapses in judgement every now and then.

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