“It is my choice” is ownership.
One of the most self-empowering declarations we can make, is the ownership of self. Follow through on those choices are liberating. Empowerment is not something we can be given. Nobody else can give us the choice to do something. The act of saying, “I’m giving you the choice …” translates to someone else thinking it’s theirs to give. It’s not.
Choice is power that comes from the core of who we are in relation to all else. We are paralyzed by it, or, we are liberated with it. We can’t avoid the slings and arrows, as Shakespeare said, and yet, we can create a mindset that prepares us for the worst, and the best, of times.
Viktor Frankl said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
I am so entertained by the schools of psychology that debate the nuances of the human condition. Destiny or free will? The chicken or the egg? Positivity or negativity? These are not either/or scenarios. They are on a sliding scale that never fully stops moving throughout the span of a human being’s life.
From pre-birth to after death, we are in a dance with universal experiences. We are part of the whole, not outside of it. When we learn through experience, we can choose what’s next. Why then, do we allow anyone ever to tell us what to think, or how to be? Social norms and group think stand as the challenge to our ability to live our beautiful truth.
Choice in Action
One of the hardest parts of making choices for ourselves is navigating the station we are born into. Or, leaving the mindset behind after healing. When trauma happens, we didn’t choose it, yet it can happen to any one of us at any time. It can cripple us with negative thoughts, emotions, and sometimes, even the body we live in. That is when the work becomes more challenging. We can follow all the rules, take all the actions or walk the steps toward the life we want to choose. But, when others throw hard challenges on our path, we have a decision to make.
Do we give in to the pressure of falling, or do we rise up stronger than before?
“We are our choices” ~ Jean Paul Sartre
We can choose how we think, but that sometimes takes a conscious effort to come back to hope. Choice is not a way of being as much as a way of thinking. We are free to think as we will. Sometimes, that means developing grit. Other times? Making the choice to decide for ourselves if we are going to live by someone else’s decisions, or walk confidently into our own authentic life is not always easy, but it is always worth it.
*+ respect that not all cultures believe any of this to be truth. My choice is to have gratitude for living in a space that honors a person’s choice to believe it to be true.
Karen Henry, MA, PhD (c) Author of Indelible Women. Reiki Master. Owner, Henry Healing. Positive Psychology Practitioner since 2007, and former university professor.
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