Of course you have a choice. Always. People seem to equate ‘nice and easy choices that will not derail my life’ with ‘possible choices’. Anything outside of that category gets filed away under ‘I don’t have a choice’.
This may be an expression of each person’s freedom and reality, but few things contribute more to humanity’s imprisonment of itself than the tendency to believe ‘I don’t have a choice’. Sadly, this is very often linked to ‘I am tied to a family so I cannot take risks that will affect my partner and my children’. Bullet proof excuse exempting one from having to make any choices, right? Precisely how much value do we add to our relationships and to our children’s lives when we are depressed and miserable? Choosing to change one’s life has nothing to do with one’s family. Within the framework of having a family and responsibilities, we still have the choice to begin to dig inside and find what blocks our joy, to unearth those attitudes that bind us to an endless flow of negative thoughts and to find a way to heal our lives through changing our attitudes and thoughts - family and all. The odd thing is that those without the luxury of a family as a handy excuse not to make any changes, come up with an entirely different version of avoidance – ‘I do not have anyone to give me a safety net if I do not make it. I am alone, so I cannot risk it.’ Well, unfortunately, even holding on to these excuses is a choice and if we do nothing we are making it. And with that, we create our reality and we stay stuck in what we do not want, and perhaps unconsciously blaming others for trapping us in a place where we have to ‘be responsible’. And this hardly benefits our relationships.
So once we stop hiding behind our loved ones and our responsibilities and are brave enough to face the truth that we always, always have a choice to change what we do not like in our lives, we come up against the real hurdle. You know, that one that you have been trying to avoid in the first place by pretending to be unaware that you have a choice, or blaming your family or your aloneness or your responsibilities for making it impossible for you to choose differently? Yes, that one. I know you know which hurdle I am talking about: you now actually have to choose and often we do almost anything to avoid having to do that. Rather pretend we have no choices open to us. Of course it cannot be repeated often enough that not making the choice is a choice in itself. It is choosing to stay stuck.
The logic goes like this: We have choices and it is our responsibility to exercise them. We can choose to either allow things to stay as they are and continue to create our existence from that space, or we can choose to change it. And here is where even the bravest soul starts to tremble. Change equals upheaval. No-one wants that! The truth is that making those choices to change what we do not like in our lives, really does cause a lot of difficulties in our lives. At the very least it upsets our loved ones and concerns our friends when they watch us go through this process. It frightens us to the core of our beings. In the end, most of us need an enormous push from somewhere to almost force us to start choosing what is right for us, not what is safe.
The one little thing we so easily miss in this whole frightening process, a process that is pretty much similar for most of us, is that it is harder to stay in what is not right for us, than it is to break free and do what is right for us. It is just less scary to stay put. So, the choice in the end is between safe misery and scary joy.
I firmly believe that we are all here to help each other make these choices. We are supposed to stand by each other and encourage each other when these things come up in our lives. I am truly grateful to be able to attest to the fact that when we shake off the fear, mostly because the discomfort just got unbearable, and choose to move through that fear towards what simply has to be better, doors open, hands reach out and hold us upright, friends support us, and loved ones, albeit nervously, watch our backs and hope for the best for us! This is our sacred journey. This is our purpose. May we all love ourselves enough to not be scared to step into joy, even if we have to dodge a meteor shower of change to get there!