What If?

The Power of Choice

I lost another battle against myself last night. I took something personally and let it hurt me. In doing so, I probably hurt the person who said it. If I had paused for just a moment to see it for what it was, it wasn’t their words. It was someone else’s.

I did something in my past that hurt someone very much (I’m sure I’ve done a lot of this). I wasn’t in a good head space at the time, and I made a very poor choice. But unlike those words, that’s not just the way I am. I made that choice, and it was the wrong one. I have the power not to make that choice again.

In letting that get to me, I also let the original author of that thought hold power over me. That was my lack of awareness. I let my pain and shame from my own choice hijack my rational thinking in that moment, and now that I realized that I have a tendency to do that a lot, it will become easier for me to control my responses to future situations.

I do not believe that I am what my DNA codes me to be, what I was taught to be, or a product of anything other than my choices. Even Nick Wilde came around to changing his mind from “sly fox, dumb bunny” to being a Jr. Detective to joining the ZPD.

I believe I am who I am for one of two reasons, to re-frame from my last post on Wushu:

  1. Someone taught me something, and I believed them. That belief became my own.
  2. I decided for myself what I believe, and I made a choice.

Sometimes I’m not aware of the first point. Some beliefs are so deeply scripted that I never thought to question that belief. On past choices, sometimes I just didn’t know another way.

But in that moment of awareness, just as I became aware of my own choice to take that statement so personally, I take the power back from circumstance. I seize power back from other people, my environment, my DNA, and the universe itself and I can choose to be however I want to be.

Few of these are my original thoughts; there is countless literature on awareness and choice. My friend Michael told me this a while back and I failed to fully internalize that. I’ve fallen prey to that thinking more than once. “It’s just how I was raised.” “It’s the only way I know.”

In hindsight, these were just excuses, and that line of thinking is self-defeating.

I think the right way is to realize where a certain belief came from, and to decide for myself if I think that’s the way I want to be. To make a conscious choice given the best information that I have, and find my own way.

Once I become aware of the source of a belief, I think that continuing to justify using anything other than “That’s how I choose to be” is just an excuse. It’s my weakness. And my strength is seeing that weakness for what it is, and choosing a different path.

I was looking for a photo to go with this post while I was walking Captain (our Malamute) and the header image I used came to mind. When I came inside and looked back at my Instagram, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the original caption that I gave this photo on January 12th.

quote

Fitting. I’ll probably be chuckling all day at that because I’m easily amused

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