Do you truly have freedom of choice?
We are always choosing our response to life. We are.
When you’re grumpy, stressed, struggling, negative, regretful, angry … you are making the choice to respond to yourself and the world around you in a certain way.
There is the event, then there is a gap while your mind processes, and then there is your reaction or response. The gap is where you have choice. There is always a gap, there is always a choice.
Well, it’s not that simple, isn’t it?
As you know, a ton of our reactions and behaviours are unconscious. As in we’re not truly aware of what we are doing.
The gap seems non-existent. “Choice? What choice?” It was automatic.
But then you wake up to what happened, and you feel regret. Perhaps. Yet in a sense, you weren’t to blame … you were asleep. You see?
Now you’re awake, now you can see the carnage of the aftermath, now you can decide to nurture awareness and choice — especially in those particular situations you know you habitually react — and so you don’t fall into that unconscious reactive pattern with all its unwanted consequences.
That’s the deal of life …
You certainly have specific habits of reacting, and yet you can learn to manage, soften, ignore, transmute them. IF that’s what you want to do, truly, with your eyes wide open.
Sometimes some occasions call for a little honesty, a little snappiness, a little fast return. That is a great thing. Not holding back, not editing, taking the handbrake off and letting your truth be heard is sometimes a beautiful and powerful act.
But you have to walk through it with your eyes open.
The trouble is, like me when I get exhausted, I think I’ll enjoy picking a fight. The little kid in my brain wants to lash out and get into an argument or even say something nasty, to hurt.
That’s where awareness has to come in for me: realising that reacting in the way the little kid wants to is not what the adult wants.
So I’m careful. I go to bed earlier and prioritise rest when I can, definitely when I need. I go out of my way to connect with the other person in a positive sense, or I stay out of their way. I don’t let the little kid get into the driving seat because … I know where that road goes.
I’ve been there and done that so I know.
I know the warning signs, I know not to treat them seriously. No big deal, I’m knackered, it doesn’t mean anything about me, or about them. It will shift, my job is to not entertain it at all. It too, will pass, and more level headed me will be back in business.
Something that really helps, well helps me at least, is taking full and complete responsibility for every reaction and choice.
So even though I was asleep and unconscious and unaware, I choose not to blame the other person, but take responsibility for all of my choices — even the ones I was sleep-walking through.
Because then I can do something different. I can learn and grow.
Without this responsibility, it’s always someone else’s fault. I become like a puppet on the string, pulled this way and that, not free to master these negative habits and determine my choices.
With responsibility I become free of regret. Because regret is punishment without a lesson. And what is the point in that? Lessons are great, punishment? Seeing the results of my anger and negativity OR me holding back my truth is more punishment than enough.
Because, and I don’t know about you, but the why of my life is about being the best person I can, and from that, making a difference in however small or large way I can.
That requires acceptance and understanding, and integrity and honesty too.
I know, again through past experience, these things are not something I need to grow within myself. They are there, plentiful and spontaneous.
They don’t require thought or planning to come through and be expressed. All they require is everything that holds them back to drop away.
The dropping away? It doesn’t take long. When I fill myself up with presence, when I nurture my the true experience of Me, in that moment they are there.
It just takes remembering. And here we are back to awareness.
A truly great, loving, bold, Alive life comes when you are centred and awake. Prioritise your being, practice meditation, appreciate and be grateful and then you will more and more consistently live the life you were born to live.
It doesn’t take much. You have everything you need. It’s just a kind of skill to let it be expressed.
Enjoy the journey … make the path of returning and remembering your freedom of choice a happy and aware one.