Friday, February 24, 2017
Life Lesson ~126~ The Power of Choice
"There is no reset button in life.You can't take anything back and you can't undo anything. All of your actions have consequences, and the things you say and do today will have a lasting impact on the rest of your life. You have to understand that, and you have to be aware of it while making you own decisions." ~ Anonymous
The power of our choices, good, bad or somewhere in-between have the ability to shape our future, our entire lives really. Being indecisive, is a decision, a choice. Going left, moving right are also choices. When I graduated college I had so many choices to make, deciding which direction I would take. Of course my parents had their ideas, all parents do and I had a few of my own. Some didn't pan out, while others led me to the happiness of my life now. I was scared, venturing out on my own. Becoming an adult, pursuing my education, a career, my dreams and making choices that would affect the rest of my life. You could say I have always surprised myself, in the chances I've taken. I never saw myself as a risk taker, but that's exactly what I grew up to be. I was encouraged to be me, to be anything I wanted to become and so I have always taken the road less traveled. I see life pretty much the same way I did back then, some 24 years ago. In many ways like Caroline Myss does, "Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that's the one that is going to help you grow."
Growing up I was always told by my parents that no decision I could ever make would cause them to love me any less. I grew up with unconditional love. Because it was freely given to me, without stipulations or requirements it was an easy choice to make myself as I grew into an adult. As with my parents, I've passed this same wisdom onto my own children. Disappointment, yes that's a given, as parents and as children alike. We all deal with letdowns in our own ways but a lack of love due to a changing of our minds, or the way we see and feel things differently should never divide us. I'll tell you this, I've never feared going home, even if I have messed up unbelievably. I pray my children know and feel the same. As Ronald A. Rasband so eloquently says,"There is no choice, no sin or mistake that you or anyone else can make that will change His love for you or them." This is the standard I was raised and continue to live by.
What I have learned in my 40 plus years is to live life starving my ego and feeding my soul. When we make choices based on our ego, we tend to take 10 steps backwards. That's what I've found myself anyway. I have made many decisions based on how I would look, how people would see me or admire me. We all make these kinds of choices for many different reasons, during many different periods in our lives. What we really need to do is realize something Abraham Maslow shares, "In any given moment we have two options: To step forward into growth or step backwards in safety." This is what I remind myself of every time I become indecisive. We make our own decisions. The outcomes may be different, but they are all by our hands, by the boxes we check. "Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It's not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, an argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period." Let's let that sink in for a moment. OK, that's heavy isn't it? But it's true. The thing we have to understand, especially when it comes to blame and saddling others with our rap sheets or the liability of our guilt is this: "we are free to choose but we are not free from the consequences of our choices". It's a wide spread, universal paradox most of us have heard a time or two. So why is it so hard, right or wrong to accept a decision once made has to be owned by the one who has made it? Yes this life is full of circumstances that can leave us feeling like victims of choices we've had no control over. But this is the truth, we all have the ability, the choice to make as to how we respond and react in every situation. I love how Dumbledore, from Harry Potter explains this, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities," The reality we have to face about life is we've got to be the change we want to see. If we can't change then how can we expect anyone else to?
Change is a choice. If you keep doing things the same way you've always done, nothing will change and the outcome will continue to be the same. Being fearful of change, going left instead of right or just staying right where you are because it's easier is like saying you need a hole in the head. Think of it this way, "Right or wrong, make a decision and then learn from it. The road is paved with flat squirrels that couldn't make a decision." Making the big decisions seems hard in the moment, but honestly it's the easiest part. The hard part is actually taking responsibility for our choices, right or wrong. We can blame others for the way our lives have turned out or we can own the rights to the movie. The truth is,"We never make the same mistakes twice, The second time you make it, it is no longer a mistake. It's a choice." ( Lauren Conrad) In the end, at the close of the day you have to take ownership for your life, for the decisions you've made and be willing to live with them and by them. Humility is a choice, faith is a choice, and so is forgiveness. All three can guide you home, navigate and light your path but only if you make the decision to allow it.
"Falling down is an accident, staying down is a choice." And this is where Life Lesson #126 ~ The Power of Choice speaks loudly, audaciously and fearlessly to us. We are the product of every decision we've ever made. Every single choice has led you here. By your own hands you've folded the map, and by your own feet you've set out on your own path. Within those consequences each decision you've ever made can be found. The power of choice can be a heavy burden to carry or it can be the foundation from which you rebuild your life upon. Choice gives us two or more possibilities and those possible course of actions depend on us. We can choose unconditional love or we can live by the repercussions of it's denial. Proverbs 4:23 says,"Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts." And God's Word is ever so faithfully true in this verse. We shape our lives, making choices the good and the bad by our thoughts. So my friends as you go about your day today, remember your choices reflect both your hopes and fears...choose wisely. Don't forget,"I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions." ~ Stephen Convey