Is There Such a Thing as "The Wrong Choice"?
What to do? This a question we ask ourselves so often that many of the decisions we make become reflexive, dictated by our subconscious. What type of toothpaste should I buy? Wake up or hit snooze again? We've made hundreds of these little choices before the day is done.
And then there's another type of choice. The big ones. Move for a new job or stay in our current position? Start a business or go back to school? Stick with a dissatisfying relationship or break things off?
These are the kind of choices that fundamentally change our lives, at least in terms of how it looks on the ground. There's no denying that finding yourself in California launching a hotdog stand is far different from trying out a tube of wintergreen toothpaste and switching back to peppermint after deciding you don't like it.
I hear a lot from people presented with big choices as a tarot reader. It's a beautiful moment to be invited into. There's a lot to consider when we're at a big crossroads, but I've also noticed a big roadblock that pops up before we can even get into the details.
Particularly the fearful sort and it's consistent message is this: "What if I make the wrong choice?"
Now before I go any further, I'd like to specify that I'm talking about constructive life choices, not morality. I.e. the choices I'm speaking to are not "should I launch an online trolling campaign against my annoying neighbor?" (Yes, I think that legitimately qualifies as a bad choice!) Rather, I'm speaking to whether choices are "right" or "wrong" for an individual's personal development.
So when we're faced with an important choice and notice that we're thinking of it in terms of right vs. wrong I'd like to say one thing and one thing only: It's time to back up.
Why? Because looking at choices aimed to facilitate our majestic personal growth and transformation in terms of right and wrong is opportunity-smothering, anxiety-producing fear-based thinking.
Right and wrong are big old black and white concepts. They're far too heavy to plunk on something as transformative and new (or pre-new, aka unformed). Riding alongside this pressure is the idea that whatever choice we make will be completely and utterly irrevocable. That is, once we choose a certain career or partner we're locked in forever.
This approach strips us of two important things: free-will and change. If we don't want something, we can choose to do something different. And, most importantly, things change, often for reasons outside our control.
What does tarot have to say about this? Let's take a look at the Two of Pentacles and The World.
The Two of Pentacles is an excellent antidote to our zero-sum, one-right-way thinking. Instead of these tired ideas, the Two illustrates the freedom and relief that comes from actively engaging with our options. This card shows us that there are many right choices and we can adjust our path as we take it, making changes here and there. In this blueprint, change is expected and encouraged. We can be innovators working in real-time, not paralyzed in the world of planning and what-ifs. What's more, this is a fun and hands-on approach.
Looking to the final card of the Major Arcana, The World, gives us a peek at what we're aiming for. It's fascinating that the last card of the Fool's Journey is so free and dynamic. Sometimes known as "the world dancer," this figure is gloriously nude and revelling in the world by moving through it. We don't have a rigid, "my way or the highway" card like The Emperor capping off the sequence. No, in contrast, The World shows us that our goal isn't one right way or a path paved by single, correct decisions, but a multi-faceted sense of presence wherever we are. With us at the center, all our choices lead us to the world we're meant to be in.
And we're always moving through it, deciding as we go.