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"I played the wrong, wrong notes" Thelonious Monk

Thelonious Sphere Monk (1917-1982) is recognized as one of the most influential figures in the history of Jazz. He was one of the architects of bebop and his impact as a composer and pianist has had a profound influence on every genre of music.

I keep a Zen Calendar in my bathroom so I have something insightful to think about, as I get ready for the day. When I first read these words, I was at a loss as to what they meant. I kept reading them repeatedly trying to make sense of the words. Finally, after some time passed I gave up and went about my day.

The next morning when I went to tear off the calendar page, I read the words again and they still did not make sense. What did they mean? I crumpled up the page and tossed it into the trash. Before it hit the bottom of the receptacle like a flash, I knew exactly what they meant to me.

Life brings us choices in each moment of everyday. Sometimes these choices are easier and go without much notice like what to have for breakfast or what clothes to wear that day. Then there are those that require more thought like do I buy or rent a house. Should I marry this person or should I get a divorce. Other more difficult choices might involve possible life and death situations like deciding to do chemotherapy or try a new drug to help with a life threatening disease. Choices come is all sizes and shapes but they are always with us in each moment of everyday.

Each time we make a choice there is a result and sometimes consequences. Usually when there are consequences, we look back and say if I had only done the other way things would have turned out better. As Billy Wilder said, "Hindsight is always 20/20."

Is it possible that every choice we make is the right choice? No matter the choice, there are lessons learned.  When does a choice become the wrong choice? Is it when we do not like the outcome or our life becomes harder? Is it when our actions hurt someone else? What if I leave my marriage and my partner is hurt. Was this a wrong choice? Course in Miracles says, "There are no tragedies." Does this mean that something positive comes out of all situations?

What happens when we make a choice and the outcome is not what we expected or wanted? I use to regret this kind of situation and then I would think about all the other choices I could have made. Of course, things would have turned out better if only I had done it another way. Is it our very nature to think this way or do we have a CHOICE in these situations? We do not really know in most cases that this other choice would have turned out better. This is an assumption on our part that takes us out of the moment and focuses our attention and energy on lack and negativity. Can we look with a new pair of eyes and find what this way has taught us. If you believe that thoughts create, then what are you creating in your life by thinking your choice was wrong?

I have noticed in my own life that the difficult times have taught me many great lessons about myself, and living life more fully. Does this mean I have to struggle to learn? No, of course you do not. What it does is give us the opportunity to see things in a different way and maybe not struggle so hard even during the difficult times. At the very least coming out the other side realizing what we have learned that will make our life fuller.

You have to play, to play the wrong, wrong note. You cannot live life without making choices and living with the consequences. You may think that some of your choices are wrong but are they really. Look back on a decision from your past that at the time you thought was the wrong choice. Can you now see what you learned and how it changed you or your life for the better? Maybe it changed someone else's life for the better. Do not think that every choice you make only effects you. We live in a world where all thoughts, actions and deeds affect everyone around us. We are all powerful creators of the world we live in. Realize that there is something to learn from everything we do and pay attention to your next choice. Looking back even when you think your choice was wrong. What did this choice teach you? When you have learned from playing the wrong, wrong notes then life will become a symphony of sweet music.

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