|We ALWAYS Have a Choice!|
by Kate Bares-Johnson
Stop for a moment and ask yourself: Why am I reading this article? What am I seeking; information, clarity, a new perspective? Now, ask yourself if gaining that will improve your life or make you a better human being? If not, then click out of this article right away!
Hopefully, you're still reading because this writing is about choices...our every day, moment to moment choices and how they affect us. We are making choices with every breath we take. We choose when we get up, when we go to sleep, when we eat, what we eat, when we check our email, when we play, when we exercise, when we rest, when we clean, when we work, what we wear, what we drive, where we shop, and the list goes on and on. We choose how and with whom we communicate, how we respond to others' communication, what we believe, what we perceive, how we think, how we express ourselves, and what we do to survive. We choose our lovers and our friends, our enemies and our allies. We choose our sorrow, our joy, our inspiration and our discouragement. Yes, we are at choice every moment of our lives, although many will argue relentlessly to the contrary. If you are pushing against the very idea of it even at this moment, that too is a choice.
It is true that we cannot always choose our circumstances, at least consciously; however, we have complete control of how we perceive our circumstances, regardless of the obvious pain or joy involved. If we have accepted the premise that we are powerless to choose, we have actually accepted a victim (powerlessness) perspective. When we feel powerless, we feel trapped and unable to feel powerful without anger, manipulation, control, passiveness, aggressiveness, or both. If we do not feel that we are in control or at choice, and especially if we feel overpowered, we will do whatever we can to survive. Unfortunately, some of our survival strategies only keep us in the victim cycle, causing us more pain, confirming the belief that we are indeed powerless. As you can see, it is a vicious cycle.
But there is a way out! It may sound too easy at first, but I guarantee that if you choose to adopt this one simple premise, your life will change dramatically. Are you ready? It is this: "Life is happening FOR me, not TO me. All things come to me for my highest good."
That's it! When this perspective is applied to any circumstance, it can instantly change how we feel and therefore, how we respond. Try it on! Think about the most recent experience in which you felt out of control or powerless. Now, consider that it came from God, with love, to serve you in some way. What do you imagine the purpose might have been, if it were intended to help you to grow and evolve?
It sometimes takes a while for us to be able to wrap our minds around the possibility that even our pain is useful, however, it is very useful and we can learn to use it and let it go, rather than continuously survive it. Shifting this paradigm is the first step.
Another area that deserves attention is the choice of our own habits and behaviors that we feel powerless to change. This includes addictions, codependency, obsessive/compulsive tendencies, anger/rage, passive/aggressiveness, depression, and more. Many people have decided that they are powerless (uh hum...the "victim") to change their own behaviors and habits. Again, these are simply survival strategies designed at some point along the way to relieve pain. Unfortunately, that relief is only temporary and once these choices become habits, there is now another level of pain to burden altogether...the pain of our self-inflicted wounds.
Once we come out of our denial and are aware that it is our own choices that are hurting us, we can begin the process of healing. We must first understand the triggers that tempt us to make the unhealthy choices to begin with, which may require some digging. (You would probably be very surprised at what they are!) Once aware ofwhy you're choosing, you are back in control of what you choose.
An easy way to determine if the choice you are about to make will empower or sabotage you, is to ask yourself, "Will this help me be a better human being?" You'll know very quickly if making that choice will serve your highest good, or not. This tool is especially helpful when applied to addictive habits and behaviors; you need only have the awareness and willingness to use it.
Yes, it is true...whether we have it all or we have nothing, we always have a CHOICE. That really does change everything, doesn't it?