Posted by: Judy | December 19, 2011

Chapter 7

The Right to Choose. This has been such a powerful tool in becoming who I want to be for the rest of my life.

I choose to not interact with people who have proven they want to hurt me. I choose to associate with people who help me be my best self. I choose what I eat and what I don’t eat. I choose to create sleeping habits that work better for me, regardless of what others think is proper or best. I choose my exercise routine and whether or not I carry it out. I choose to stay in a relationship or walk away. I choose to follow the way that I feel has been placed on my heart, or to shortchange myself. I choose. Me.

This is still such a huge concept for me as I learn that I choose how I act, how I react, how I think, how I respond to my emotions, whether I keep them or let them go, whether or not I trust. Only I can decide if I will live in fear or live in faith, if I will allow fear to rule me or use fear to help protect me, if I will trust or not.

All that being said, I’m learning to recognize that choices come in varying levels, and those last ones are advanced level choices. And I truly did start with beginner level choices: What do I like to eat?

Looking back, I can see the importance of allowing myself to move from one level to the next in a natural order, without trying to jump ahead. Until I had a firm foundation under me, on a very basic level, the more complicated choices were harder than they needed to be. I also discovered that by making some of those easy, beginner level choices, higher level choices weren’t nearly as complicated.

The right to choose is a basic freedom that enlarges one’s world as one learns to exercise that right for one’s self. When that right is taken away, one is diminished, but vastly more so when one gives it away.

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Viktor Frankl


Responses

  1. Choice is powerful once you understand you have a choice. I think that was one of the more interesting conversations with my counselor when I helped him realize that in some situations the thought that I had a choice simply didn’t occur to me. I like Victor Frankl’s observation.

    • Abuse victims are taught that they have no choice. I remember how often the counselor would make a suggestion, and I’d stare at him blankly. Seeing the choices takes practice.


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