The other day I heard someone on a podcast say, “If it hadn’t been for (this bad experience) I wouldn’t have (my new awesome job that I love).” I think we’ve all said this a time or two, sometimes in appreciation of some person or experience, or in recognition that some negative experience led to something wonderful in the end. We also use it to blame, as in, “If it weren’t for this person and what they did/said, I wouldn’t be in this horrible situation now.”
I know I’ve use this phrase in all of these instances, but when I heard this person say it on this podcast, I took a moment to really think about it and what it really means. I came to the conclusion that I don’t agree with it. I think it is an example of how we limit ourselves in understanding our past and in creating our future.
In essence, “If it weren’t for X, I wouldn’t have Y” sees only one path to a particular point. That if X didn’t happen, there was absolutely no other way for Y to have occurred. This is a very limited view that limits not only us, but what is possible and what the Universe is capable of.
Your path will always be put in front of you, no matter who you meet, where you go, and what decisions you make. The details may look and little different and the timeline might change, but you cannot leave your path. There are an infinite number of ways to get where you’re meant to be, and the Universe knows all of them. So if you turn left rather than right at some point, the Universe knows how to adapt. It doesn’t matter where you turn, your path is always in front of you.
Here’s the fun part of what this means: there are no “wrong” decisions! You can have decisions that won’t serve you as well as others or you won’t enjoy as much, but there are no wrong decisions. There are only different experiences along your journey.
For example, I had a tough decision to make a little more than a year ago. It was whether or not to keep my full-time job and start my business slowly in my free time, or to quit my job and dive into the deep end of becoming self-employed. I could have stressed myself out over this decision, worrying for days about what the “right” thing to do was. However, at the end of the day there was no “right” answer. There was just a choice for me to make about what set of experiences I wanted to have at that time. Each choice had healing opportunities for me and fears to face, it was just a matter of which of those I wanted to work with at that time. Had I chose to stay I would have been fine. I would have continued working, learning some new skills and lessons, meeting new people, and at a different point in time chose to leave and work on my business full time. Instead I chose to leave and focus solely on my business right then.
Now the truth is I had been thinking about leaving for some time, but was not actively thinking about options, possible outcomes, etc. What made a decision necessary for me was a conflict that arose in the office. That conflict was the catalyst for me to stop messing around, get with the program, and make a decision. So I actively thought about it and sought advice from trusted friends, never worrying about what was the “right” answer. And in over a weekend, I decided to leave and I’ve been deliriously happy since with the freedom that self-employment has provided me.
Now I could say that had it not been for that conflict I never would have started my own business, or I never would have found the courage to take such a risk. That is not true though. I would have eventually done it. If one catalyst didn’t move me toward that decision another one would have. It’s part of my journey to experience this, whether it started in June of 2015 or in February of 2025 doesn’t make a difference. My path was leading me here, exactly how I got here does not come down to one person, one event, one decision.
To me this idea is so freeing. I am always on my path. All decisions are “right” decisions. I take heart in the fact that I’m right where I’m supposed to be, at all times. I chose this life and a certain experience and so I’m always right where I intended to be. And even more empowering is if I take that a step further with the understanding that as a part of the Universe itself and being a part of and connected to Source, I’m also right where the Universe, where Source intended to be as well.
How often do you find yourself worrying about a decision, and what is “right” and what is “wrong?” How might seeing your next decision not as between “right and “wrong,” but as a choice between different experiences change how you feel while making your decision?