The Power of Choice

We are all given the power of choice. Life is full of choices and is created by the choices we make.

Every day you make countless choices, some conscious, most unconscious. You can float through life unconscious, blaming life itself, or others for your hardships. You can feel like a victim of circumstance, or a victim of your history and upbringing, or a victim of whatever you have justified to yourself.

You can float through quite happily for a while too, making no conscious choices, just floating. But all things pass and happy states pass too, to come back again another time. Even when in a happy space making conscious choices, rather than unconscious choices, ensures you maintain equanimity in your life without the extremes of living unconsciously and being at mercy to all that comes to test you.

Perhaps you choose to stay as you are out of fear, laziness, lack of direction, or procrastination. But life will force you forward anyway. Nothing stays the same. Changes such as these rarely happen gracefully though. They leave you feeling like you have no choice. But having not chosen previously was also a choice.

Everyone suffers. Suffering is a part of life. It is a part of the growth process. But you can change how you react to suffering by your choices. Choosing to acknowledge that times of suffering bring with them great opportunities for growth and learning lessens the pain. And while you may naturally look forward to when the storm has passed, you also choose to make it easier on yourself by looking for the gifts that are on offer during the storm. Then when the sun does come out again, you are stronger, renewed and more connected with yourself.

No one says that choices are easy. But nor is ignoring yearnings of the heart an easy thing. And while honouring your heart does not exempt you from growth, a little light will always breaks through on occasions, continuing to light the way.

Whatever choices you are faced with, it is usually fear that truly holds you back. Fear of what others will think of you, of ruining their expectations of you or perhaps being fearful of their reactions. It may be fear of the unknown. Or fear of failure. And strangely, one of the biggest fears is fear of success.

So what is success? To me it is being able to do what you want, when you want and with whom you want. Success is knowing that your heart is happy and that the world is benefitting from you being here, no matter how small that contribution may feel.

Some people choose to work like crazy early in life to retire early, always waiting for that first day of retirement to start living. What if you don’t make it to retirement or don’t have the freedom of health to enjoy it when it does arrive? We are not all here to live long lives. I’ve nursed enough people in their final days to have seen that.

Like a tree with leaves falling during a storm, some old leaves will hang on and some old leaves will fall. Some brand new leaves will stay and some of those will also fall. This is the nature of life. Some people will live to a very old age but many won’t. None of us think it will be us who goes early, but neither did those who have gone before us.

So you live with the choices you make. What is it that you want? What is it that your heart is calling out to you? Is fear stopping you from hearing your heart’s voice? What is your biggest dream and what is stopping you from pursuing it? What stops you?

Is it money, time, or fear? Fear also represents lack of time and money, fear to step off the treadmill, fear or lack, or fear of finding new ways to approach life, to learn to see it from a new angle.

You can learn to attract what you need by either choosing to get more educated about it, getting more creative in finding solutions or choosing to replace your fear with trust, by facing it and in time dissolving them. Or best still, you can do all of these.

You have the choice to brave your fears, whatever they are. You have the choice to follow your dreams, whatever they are. You have a choice to live today and not see it go by in a blur of always chasing tomorrow. You have choice. And life rewards those who take action.

The Buddha said “The mind knows no answers, the heart knows no questions”.

Are you listening to your mind or are you listening to your heart?

What is your heart saying?

The choice is yours.