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!