Making Choices


choices_header

Choice.

In life, there is very little we have control over.

We all come from different walks of life, and have had different things happen to us.  Sometimes life goes relatively according to plan, while at other times life throws us curveballs we never could have anticipated (both good and bad).

Yet no matter what happens to us in life, we are never just passive observers caught in the wake of events.

The one element we are always in control of is how we respond to the events in our life.

That response is always our choice.

 

When things go wrong in our lives it’s understandable to be upset.  And it’s natural to look for someone to blame.

But blame doesn’t help us.

Whatever has happened has already happened, and we can’t change it.  Plus sometimes there isn’t even anyone to blame.  Sometimes things just happen and all we can do is accept them.

That doesn’t mean we have to like whatever has happened, but the reality is we can’t change it.

Our only choice is in deciding how we want to move forward.

That decision is an important one, because we have to move forward.  When we get caught up in blaming and we don’t move forward, we are allowing ourselves to remain stuck in the past.

 

I’m not suggesting people try to hold in their feelings and emotions.  We’re human, and we are emotional beings.  When something bad happens in our lives it’s understandable (and normal even) to be upset.  Anger, sadness, fear – these are all natural responses to events and it’s important that we accept them.

However it’s also important that we process them and deal with them.  Because when we don’t, those emotions can control us and keep us trapped, unable to move forward.

 

When someone has hurt you, it’s easy to be angry at other people for things that have happened.  It’s easy to blame, and want to lash out.  It’s easy to let that hurt shape you, and change you.

It’s much harder to work through it, and then let it go.

I don’t pretend to have any magic answers for how to do this, but when facing challenges in life I ask myself a number of questions:

  • How am I spending my energy, and more specifically is it in a positive way?
  • Can I change something?
  • Can I influence something, or do I need to accept it.
  • What can I learn from something?
  • In the big picture, does this really matter?
  • How can I best move forward?

If my energy is being spent focused on what has already happened, then I am allowing myself to be stuck in the past.  Our past shapes our present, and beyond being part of our journey our past also gives us an opportunity to learn from it and try to better ourselves.

 

How we move forward is always our choice.

We only stay stuck if we won’t move forward, and if we can’t let go.

Sometimes letting go means letting go of the hurt and resentment that can keep us stuck.  Other times it means letting go of the people in our lives who are hurting us.  Letting go of people isn’t always an easy choice, but we can’t change others.

If there is something or someone is hurting us, we can’t keep doing the same things and expecting a different outcome.

Something needs to change.

And if we aren’t willing to make changes, then staying where we are is also a choice.

Because the only person who can change where we are, is our self.

The-purest-form-of-insanity-is-to-leave-everything-the-same-and-the-same-time-hope-that-things-will-change.-Albert-Einstein

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7 thoughts on “Making Choices

  1. Great points and easy to forget when people get caught up in emotional situations. It’s something I had to remind myself of when I went through a break up after my daughter was born.
    Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am going to write this, and it may sound weird, but stick with me. ..
    I used to have this odd fear that one day I would be beat up so severely that I would either die or be in a vegetative state. Told you it was weird, but- I do have a point…
    Any time I have a Deja Vu (which is not too often), the thought of that inevitable end comes up. It used to freak me out, and I would tell myself that “I would never ____” in order to avoid the possibility of that happening. Then life continues and I forget about it.
    But, I actually had a Deja Vu the other day in session with a client- and there it was, this thought that I am going to die by being beaten to death. Instead of freaking out a little and planning ways to avoid this fate, I really started thinking about how my end was inevitable, and it made me double down on asking myself what is important. If all I’ve got is a limited amount of time, how do I want to spend it- really. I certainly dont want to spend it trying to impress others, or trying to earn love. I want to enjoy as much as possible and give as much as possible and let that be enough.
    I think when we react to these things, especially the things that are unavoidable, we (of course) are fighting against our mortality, our ultimate powerlessness.
    I dont mean to give the impression that I give up on exerting my own power and volition in healthy ways or in purely egocentric ways at all- I havent. But, the subtle reminder of death, and its inevitability, certainly puts things in perspective.
    And PS- if I do die by fist blows- I TOLD YOU SO! : P! Lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Lindsey,

      Personally I think *how* a person responds to these moments where they face their own mortality says a lot about a person. And I think midlife is a prime example of where this happens.

      This may also sound off topic, but bear with me a moment and hopefully I circle back to what you were talking about…

      I’ve written a fair bit about midlife crisis, and I believe midlife is one of the first times we really face our mortality, and realize “holy crap, my time is running out”.

      I think we all face this. But how we respond to it (our choices) can be remarkably different.

      And I think that difference lies in our identity gap, and how authentically we have lived our lives up until that point.

      For people who know who they are and have lived authentically, I don’t think midlife is an issue.

      For those that haven’t, I think midlife is a time where people stop caring what others think about them, and instead start focussing on what *they* want.

      In both cases though, I think we ask ourselves the question “what is important to me” – and how we answer that is revealing.

      Some only care about themselves, and their immediate needs and wants. They don’t really care if they hurt others, as long as THEY are happy (or pursuing things they believe will lead to happiness).

      For others, it’s not just about them. Its also about what they can give back, and do for others. And I find the difference interesting.

      Whether its fear of fist blows, serious illness, death of a loved one or middle age; eventually we all face our mortality.

      How we react and the choices we make at that time say a lot about our values.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Vinneve, thanks for the support. I would love to do something like that. But for now at least, I’m happy to try and carve out my little niche in the blogging world. I’m not sure how many people read my posts, and of those that do, I don’t know how many people I resonate with. But that’s alright, as I write what feels right to me.

      Thanks again!

      Liked by 2 people

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