To say you always have a choice is a tough pill to swallow. It can come across as unsympathetic in certain situations. What If you were sexually assaulted or the victim of childhood abuse? In these situations, your ability to choose was taken from you. There was a loss of your autonomy as a person.
The choice in these incidents is in how you will respond to what happened. Will you let them define your ongoing story, or will you make a decision to heal and overcome them so they no longer impact your life in a negative way? There is no doubt we can be victimized, but there is no such thing as a full-time victim; at some point we are choosing to remain in this position.
We create our reality by our responses
In today's business climate, things are rapidly changing due to technological advancements. You might be the hottest company on the block today, but in a year your product could be obsolete. How do you handle such adversity? There is a moment of decision that will make the difference between success and failure.
No matter what is occurring externally, you have the capacity to manage your internal state. There is a famous saying by The Buddha that captures this concept, "The mind is a world to itself, it can create a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven." We have power to construct our reality by the decisions we make. Yes. I agree there are circumstances outside of our control. But we have total freedom in how we respond. And this is what ultimately determines the world we inhabit.
Challenge yourself to find choice within perceived powerlessness
If I become conflicted with someone in my life, my natural inclination is to ruminate on all the ways I have been wronged or why my view is the correct one. But this only leads to anger, frustration, and anxiety, which causes me suffering. When I can resolve to focus on the things I appreciate about them, I eventually am filled with love and gratitude for the relationship. Many times, this alone can resolve the dispute.
Challenge yourself today to examine areas in your life where you feel powerless, whether it is in relation to past, present, or future. Realize you always have a choice in how you respond. Furthermore, decide how you want to live, and choose a response that will lead to creating that reality. If this is a hard concept for you to accept, sit and meditate on the statement, "You always have a choice," until you can become aware of where you do. Then take action with this awareness.
Don't allow yourself to be a full-time victim any longer or buy into the distorted belief you are powerless. Choice is always there somewhere, even if it is in accepting you don't have control of certain aspects of a situation; this still requires choice. Choose wisely! You are the creator of your reality.
John Hawkins Jr., M.S., L.M.H.C.
John has helped thousands of clients overcome the hidden internal blocks which had kept them from achieving their maximum potential. Furthermore, he has assisted them in gaining clarity of their true life purpose, identifying their gifts and talents, and developing lives of greater meaning and significance.