A Very Moving Essay….We Do Have a Choice in Living!
I am in a place where I am thinking about how I can create reality for myself. I have spent my entire life doing what i was taught to do. Unfortunately, I have come to a place where I can see that my heart and mind are in a constant struggle. I have pretty much lost everything because I allowed my mind to rule my life. This morning, I got up with the intention of going to work. When I stepped into the shower, I relished the warm spray of water and then a random thought floated into my mind and it instantly stressed me out. What was the thought? It was “I have to go to work and do all the things I’m supposed to do.” Why did this instantly stress me out?
First, let me explain what I have been going through. I have been following in the path of the masses…getting a so-called good job and working hard to be good at what I do. I am a state employee in a managerial position. I am bound to work and abide by all state policies and procedures. Unfortunately, I work at a school and I come into many situations where the state polices come into conflict with the work I do which is with children in a residential setting. I aspire to give the residential students an environment in which they can flourish and learn in leap and bounds. I have often questioned myself in whether my standards were to help one child or ten children to succeed. I used to love my job and the challenges it presented. I have endeavored to present different ways of viewing the care-taking of children in a residential setting only to run into obstacles in the form of resistant staff, me being resistant, and state bureaucracy. I have been in this job for 17 years and I am now at the point where I am starting to question all the beliefs I had held and tried to apply to my job and to my life. Because I was in the mindset that what I was taught was to be accepted as the absolute truth, I slowly dug myself into a rut because I was not willing or courageous enough to question those beliefs. Thus, the result 17 years later is a feeling of dread each day and instant stress when I wake up on a workday.
What does this lead to? This forced me to face the inevitable: Am I truly living according to my values and desires. After closer introspection, I realized I was not doing so and I was living “small”. I realized that all the stress and agony over being the idea of doing well at my job and trying to live up to the expectations of my staff, co-workers, and my supervisors as well as my parents has taken a toll on my emotional and spiritual well-being. I have lost onf of the most wonderful people in my life (my partner) because she could not understand how my mind was functioning and could not understand why she could not supersede all the negative thinking that was going on in my mind associated with failure and a lot of self-flagellation. Now, I find myself alone and not liking it at all. I managed to go through each day thinking I needed to show that I could handle it. The fact that I am deaf and had something I needed to prove to everyone that I could be on equal footing with those who could hear did not help at this point. It only served to speed up my own demise. Ultimately, I crashed and from that point, I realized that I had been spending my entire life trying to meet the expectations of everyone except my own and with each experience, it only left me more empty and needy.
As I go through the recovery process, I come to understand and accept that I am the only one responsible for all my actions and that as I become more self-aware, the less I feel the need to live up to the expectation of others. I become more comfortable with the idea of living only to my expectations and desires and that I am truly free of any kind of expectation or rules imposed by others. It is easier said than done but once practiced in small steps, it does indeed brighten up the path ahead of me and increase my faith in myself to just do what I want to do, regardless of my past choices or future consequences. Just the mere idea of having the freedom to make choices based on what I know today is a fantastic thing to have. I have choices in front of me and this is a time in my life where I know I need to make a shift in order to reconcile with my true self in order to live fully. This is a big step and scary because I don’t handle not knowing what happens in the future well. I accept this and tell myself to have faith in myself and to go with what my heart tells me to do. I realize that it is so much easier to stay in the same place I have been out of fear yet I know what the cost will be to me: a dead soul. I am choosing to live fully as possible therefore I know I cannot stay in the same place I am.
I thank you all for reading this post and would love to hear from you your own experiences of pivotal events in your own lives.
- Positive Thinking – The Clue to Happy Living (comptaenligne.wordpress.com)
- Finding Direction by Liz Prisley (matterofcause.com)
- The Masquerade Party of Life (lifeaschaos.wordpress.com)
- Choices (patty53blog.wordpress.com)
- The Power of Choice (jisbell22.wordpress.com)
- Control and Expectations Be Gone! (lbrownrooke.wordpress.com)
- Online Counseling and E-Zines: http://www.onlinecounseling.org/
“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi
I was once a Type-A, uber-competitive, hyper-driven professional. It brought me power, money, success, titles, global travel, and vast corporate responsibilities. It also almost claimed my life, physically, spiritually and emotionally. To this day, I am grateful that I finally took action on my misalignment.
Tell me otherwise: Our lives have become increasingly fast-paced, and the effort to keep up often occupies all of our time and attention. We are so busy rushing from point A to point B that we forget to enjoy the proverbial ride. We race to the store without noticing the leaves on the trees or clouds in the skies (and the clouds in New Mexico are unrivaled). At the end of a day filled with this kind of frantic pace, we may begin to wonder what it is we do all these things…
View original post 456 more words
I have pondered the question of true free will for so long…It all started when I dabbled briefly in fundamental Christianity. I was shown that God allows us to have free will as so clearly portrayed in the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Naturally, it came as a paradox to me because I am being told that God created us in His image implying that we all should behave as He should. Yet, we are also being told that we have free will and choice. After years of self-debating that question and constant questioning and seeking from many sources, I came up with this:
We do indeed have free will in our choices and how we live our lives. Unfortunately, many of us function under the idea that we do not have choices. Why is that? This little story shall exemplify this concept: One morning, I get up late because my alarm did not go off (argh). I tell myself…I have no choice but to skip breakfast and I go straight to shower. I run about breathlessly, getting ready for work, and hop in my car. I then tell myself I have no choice but to take the shortest route and speed to work in order to make it on time to a so-called important meeting. I do so and then I get pulled over by a cop for speeding. Slowly, I get agitated and stressed and tell myself, Why me? I arrive at work out of breath and fly into the meeting saying “Sorry…alarm did not go off and had no choice but to hurry and ended up getting a ticket for speeding…blah blah.” Then the rest of the day is crammed with back to back meetings and constant movement with no break. 5:30pm comes around and it is normally my dinner break…I tell myself, “I have no choice but to skip dinner because I am so behind on my workload”. I plow on through my piles of to-do lists, emails, brief meetings with staff. I finally leave at 9pm after a 12 hour work day and tell myself, “This day was out of control and I had no choices but to do what I had to do.” I plop down in my armchair and instantly fall asleep, dead tired, and dream about lists of tasks to complete flying at me, broken alarm clocks mocking me, and so on….
I’m sure each one of us have had those types of days. One day, I learned that I indeed do have choices every minute of each day. I chose to let circumstances bind me and based my actions on my choices. Once I recognized that, I was able to change my perception and ended up making better choices. In essence, the most important choice we face everyday is whether we allow circumstances to dictate how we behave or react.
Free will…yes, we truly do have this if we simply allow ourselves to step out of the mentality that we are controlled by our circumstances. Free will…yes, we truly do have this if we stop and listen to ourselves.
How can we exercise our free will? Look at how we react and see how our minds react to circumstances. Our emotions are a wonderful tool, indeed. They give us direct feedback of what we need or are missing. If we are feeling angry, then it is telling us that our psyche is struggling to connect to our circumstances and are limited by our current beliefs or our boundaries have been violated. If we are sad, then it is telling us we are grasping too hard on something and it’s time to let go. If we are obsessive, then it is telling us we are not willing to let go and our beliefs may need re-assessing.
In order to free ourselves from our circumstances and make choices that allow us to enjoy life to the fullest, we need to explore within ourselves and discover what holds us back. In this, I discovered that each and every one of us has a unique way of perceiving the world through our experiences. Once I recognized what my perceptions were, I truly realized that we are NOT bound to our circumstances and we have a whole plethora of choices and possibilities at our disposal!
To learn more about freeing yourself from circumstances and reclaiming your free will, I recommend the excellent “Beyond Circumstances” workshop provided by Belanie Dishong of Live At Choice, LLC. For further information, go to: www.liveatchoice.com. I have worked closely with her over the last few months and indeed found my life transformed on a deep level and gained a deeper understanding of my life purpose. I no longer feel a prisoner to my circumstances and find myself enjoying life and finding the good things regardless of what happens!
Choices. We face so many daily. Big and small choices. Even those seemingly inconsequential matters that require decisions.
I’ve meditated a lot about the word choice. It rolls off our tongues easily and we throw it about but do we really understand the implications behind the word itself in its noun form? According to the Oxford dictionary online, the definition goes like this:
Phrases: By choice: of one’s own volition.