We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives. Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice. We can make our choices built from love or from fear. ~Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday. ~Eleanor Roosevelt
8.The Law of Choice: There are many choices you do not have the power to make. You cannot choose when, where, or to whom you were born. You did not choose your family, genetic inheritance, race, body type, or the early blessings and traumatic experiences that shaped your mind, emotions, and fundamental personality. You cannot choose to avoid suffering, or change the natural aging processes of your life.
But you do have the power to choose what to do with what life gives you. You can choose to confront your challenges with courage, confidence, and trust. You can choose the values you want to serve, the friends you want to keep, the partner you want to spend your life with. You can set goals and act on them, or procrastinate lest you make a mistake. You can settle for a job or lifestyle that does not fulfill you, or design a path of your own. You can accept responsibility for your choices or blame someone else. You can cultivate your imagination or bury it. View yourself as separate or as connected. Integrate or fight otherness. Nurture love or hate. Trust or fear. Your choices will shape your life and influence yours and the world’s welfare.
The difficulty in life is the choice. George Moore, The Bending of the Bough, 1900, Act IV.
But the big choices that can permanently alter the course of your life are very difficult. How then do you decide? In my life I’ve found that impulsive decisions are rarely the answer. Most really big choices require a great deal of soul-searching, self-knowledge, and time before the gates open and the path becomes clear. You need to examine your motives — not the surface, idealistic ones your ego flatters itself with, but the ones deep in your unconscious that you struggle to disown, like those based on pride, hunger for power, fear, selfishness, hatred, the need to impress, or the desire for revenge.
It is not I who create myself, rather I happen to myself. (The Collected Works of Carl Jung, Vol. 11, Para 391)
Unknown forces in your psyche influence you every day: instincts, archetypes, typologies, complexes, emotions, attitudes, and memories. You can choose to ignore them. You can blame them on people and circumstances. Or you can choose to be mindful of them. You can ask yourself why you just behaved the way you did; look for alternative ways to respond next time. You can pay attention to the dramas that are enacted in the dream theaters of your soul every night.
Once you understand your psychological patterns and the negative affect these patterns have on your life, you can now make better life choices. This is a breakthrough! Those patterns have kept you stuck from living the life you have imagined. Of course, your experiences and the way you coped with them will never disappear. They are part of your spiritual development. However, the coping mechanisms and false beliefs are no longer dictating who you become, your authentic self is the self that wants purpose and meaning in life. ~www.virtuesforlife.com
You must recognize, embrace, and be honest about what is real for you today and allow that understanding to inform the choices you make. Only then will you be able to build the future of your dreams. ~Suze Orman
We must make the choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves. ~Thomas Merton
Here’s a blessing from Nelson Mandela for you to consider the next time you find yourself at a crossroads: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” ~Nelson Mandela
What choices motivated by self-knowledge, truth, and love can you and your country make at election time? What choices can you make right now?
Image credit: Doors, Pixabay. Crossoads: Creator: Bulat Silvia | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Paper and E-book versions of The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. The Wilbur Award-winning Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications.com. Jean’s new Nautilus Award-winning The Soul’s Twins, is at Amazon and Schiffer’s Red Feather Mind, Body, Spirit. Subscribe to her newsletter at www.jeanbenedictraffa.com.