You Have Choices in Your Life

It is great fun for me to blog every day, turning the page in the book to see what today’s topic is, thinking about what I want to say and how to say it. I hope you are enjoying the daily blogs, too. I am late today and disappointed that I am…

Today we’re talking about choices. You have choices in your life about everything you do. I didn’t believe that when I began my healing journey, my journey into sobriety.

Celebration of Choices

Celebration of Choices

In fact, I was a mess with emotion, and saw no way out of the emotional snare, and couldn’t fake that everything was fine. Couldn’t “grin and bear it,” nor “get on with it,” like everyone was saying to me. But I knew if I did that, it would be just like numbing the feelings with alcohol and I trying to quit; I did not heed their advice. So, I felt I had no choice but to be in an emotional snarl.

To digress a minute… I think when we say those things – grin and bear it, get on with it – to someone trying to get through emotional turmoil, it does not have the interest of the person at heart; it does a disservice to that person. If they could get on with it, they would! There is something holding them back.

Maybe it’s simply that they don’t know any other way to be, don’t know that another way exists. Maybe they’re in the process of getting on with it, and need to go through the turmoil to reach the other side.

I believe there is danger in saying grin and bear it and get on with it, even if we say it to ourselves – ESPECIALLY if we say it to ourselves. Doing so requires that we repress our emotions, our feelings. In so doing, our hurts turn into angers and resentments; among other things, we excessively drink away our sorrows.

Then one day, we explode and a child or wife is battered, someone is killed or hurt in some way, physically and always emotionally…  But we have choice in this whole process. 

So, back to what I was saying about being stuck in the turmoil and thinking I had no choice in the matter, when, in fact, I did. Rather than stay in the victim role, blaming others, I had the choice to take responsibility for my healing and my life to avoid going to that place of “losing it.” 

What do I mean by having choice? I mean, we do whatever it takes to look at our wounds that are making us unhappy, and move ourselves forward. We go to support groups for substance abuse, we get counseling, perhaps medication for emotional problems identified, we read books that discuss the specific topic that is our issue.

We engage in identifying our feelings by journalling, we take brisk walks a couple times a day. These are all things we can do when we decide to choose something different for ourselves. The list goes on…

The point here is the choice. I didn’t know it at the time, but my decision to get sober was my exercising of choice. It was the first step in taking responsibility for my healing. It was a choice I made with far wider-reaching healing than I ever could have imagined.

You, too, have choice over everything you do. Look gently at yours. Are you happy with them?


What Choices Do You Make in Your Life?

Celebration of Choices

“I see a little man with his top hat, arm raised above his shoulder in salute. He celebrates his recent discovery… he has choices in his life. It is freeing to learn one can choose at any point. Ah, cause for celebration!”

The fact that we have a choice about everything we do is a thought process that I could not get my head around for many years into sobriety. As I healed, old “stuff” came up and I was reacting to it. I couldn’t control those reactions, and in that sense, felt I had no choice.

I did not realize that the choice I could make was in my attitude. Still, I was not able to make that choice until I had done some serious healing. That took a few years.

One day, I realized I had a choice over how I responded to thoughts and experiences. I had a choice over how I saw things. I could choose to look at challenges, both current and past, as learning experiences, intended for my growth as a spiritual being. That was an “ah, ha!” moment. I saw in an instant what people meant when they said we always have a choice.

From that point forward, I have chosen to look at experiences as nothing more than a chance to learn and grow. It has made a world of difference in my ability to act, rather than react to any given challenge. It has also led to a more positive attitude generally, and feelings of joy and inner peace specifically.

Not only, I learned, did I have a choice over my attitude. I had a choice over staying in situations that were detrimental to my spirit. I had to ask myself what I was gaining by staying, or keeping a negative attitude. I often didn’t like what I saw and it was frequently tied to fear and my low self esteem, sense of self worth. As my feelings of esteem and worth rose, the fear decreased and I became able to act in my best interest, even if it meant leaving my current situation that had its comfort in familiarity.

It comes down to an issue of considering the consequences of any choice. Am I willing to accept the  consequences of a decision? Can I make a decision based on what is best for my highest good, for my soul, independent of guilt? Even there, I have a choice. If I choose, for example, to stay in a relationship because it would hurt the other to leave, I must be willing to accept bouts of emotion that likely might occur when my soul cannot sing, when my soul’s purpose is squashed.

May you see choices in your life and may you reap the benefit of joy and peace from their consequences.