Updated: Jun 20, 2021
An American therapist imparted a profound insight to me some years ago: that I could choose to live how I wanted. I retorted with the words, 'Yeah right!'. As we explored the issues at hand I would resist his rather annoying questions like, 'Is this what you want?' I wanted to be a victim and avoid being agent. He'd continue to press me until we both realised I did have some kind of choice. So maybe you are struggling in your job right now and just want to quit as you aren't valued, but you need the money. Or you're really struggling with a relationship with someone who is draining and demanding, but you are related so feel you can't escape. Or maybe you're unable to make any plans because of Covid restrictions and you feel uncertain and despondent. There is often something that is irksome or upsetting.
However there is so much more choice than you might initially realise. We all have more choice over our circumstances than we realise. We might think we can't change things, but often we can and we are inadvertently making a choice not to change things. Maybe it's better to leave that hopeless job and be poor (short term) than to stay in a dehumanising job. Or maybe you can put up some boundaries to the needy relative or make small daily plans that can come to pass. But I understand there are some things that can't be changed like my husband can't bring back his sight - that's his 'given' and you will have yours. But here's the big punchline. You get to choose how you respond to your circumstances. You hold the keys to your heart to put it in more cliched terms. No-one gets to control your heart and your will. This is powerful. This is where the real choice lies.
It's something I've been learning over recent years: I get to choose how I respond to situations. I get to choose if I want to be a patient or impatient wife to a husband with a disability. I get to choose whether I want to be a mum who is emotionally present or absent to my children. I get to choose whether I host stress and anxiety in my heart space or peace and hope. I get to choose how I spend my money and my time (no-one else is doing it for me). I get to choose my attitudes, my posture towards others, the thoughts I welcome in my mind and the feelings I host in my heart. This is powerful. I'm still learning. Daily. But I invite you to become more powerful in owning your own experience of your life. The inner stuff, the deep stuff, the stuff that really matters - who you are and how you live your life - is determined by you. And you can choose. Choose life!