Choices are all around us all day long. They can be as simple as turning left or right when you leave the neighborhood. They can be as complex as figuring out how to invest your money. They can also be as difficult as deciding what to do about a predicament that a loved one is in. We’re faced with making choices whether we want to be or not.
I’m thinking about choices in life this week. Often, I hear someone say that they had no choice and that they absolutely had to do something. Is that really true? Usually it’s not. Usually it’s more likely that one choice was just so unacceptable that the other choice became the only acceptable option.
Recognizing that there was an actual choice in a particular situation is actually liberating. You have the ability to decide on a path of action. Which path you choose may seem obvious but recognize that it is actually a choice that you have.
I notice choices more now than I used to in my life. I notice when I have a choice about how I react to a situation. I also notice more often that one thing doesn’t have to necessarily lead to something else. I can change my path simply by making a different choice.
Now, I might choose the same thing that I’ve been choosing for years, but that is still my choice. Knowing that I have that ability to decide between two or more options is so empowering. I don’t feel like my life is set in stone or that it’s been pre-written for me. I can alter it by simply making a different choice.
So all of this thought about choice has occurred because of a situation in my life right now. I’m watching someone I love make choices in their life. I don’t agree with some of their choices but they’re not all mine to make. What I can do is choose how I react to the choices of my loved one. It’s my own choices that will really color in my own landscape in my life.
I believe that each of us is responsible for our own choices in life. To blame others for something that I decided to choose is not fair. The same can be said for someone else blaming me for a choice that they made. Unless you are physically or mentally incapable of making a choice in your life, then it is up to you to own up to the fact that you made a choice.
This is what I’m watching right now with my loved one. This person is not wanting to accept or deal with the choices that they’ve made in recent months. My reaction has mostly been to let them bear the consequences of their choices. I know that my choice could be to jump in and save this person as much as is possible. I also know that in the end, I couldn’t live with that choice. For this person to grow, they need to learn from their own life choices and not from my own.
So, I’m sitting with the concept of choice this week. Knowing that one choice will lead me down one path. Another choice will lead me down a different path. Neither choice is wrong but either one will lead to a certain set of consequences. The real question is which set of consequences do I want to head towards.
To figure this out, I’ve gone back to what is important to me. What is my own truth. What do I want out of my own life. This leads me to the path that will take me in the direction that feels right for me. I won’t tell this person which path they must take. I will help them figure out what path is right for them if they ask, but I won’t make their choices for them. Because that is important to me. Helping this person be the best person they can be by taking responsibility for their own actions and learning to live with their own choices in life is my own path.
That is my choice. To assist but not take over someone else’s life. After all, it’s hard enough figuring out my own choices in this life. There are so many that come at me every single day. I don’t need the stress of being responsible for someone else’s choices too!
We talk about things like choice in Navigating Change. Experiencing it in your body and then taking it out to use in your life is so empowering. Watch out for the next round of Navigating Change so that you can get to know your own choices in life too!