You Do Have A Choice

To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.” Patrick Ness

It’s almost endemic – how many of us paint ourselves into a corner and tell ourselves that we can’t change our circumstances or that we have no choice but to continue down our path. Instead of seeking possibility, our first instinct is to blame others or cast ourselves in the role of victim. Rather than admitting that we just aren’t sure how to change, we tell ourselves a story – we tell ourselves that it is impossible to leave our situation or that we have too much responsibility and can’t do anything about how we live. Yet, each time we tell ourselves we have no choice – what we are really doing is closing the door to real choice. Staying right where we are is also a choice – and it is one that completely denies how powerful we are as human beings to live a life that is better than the one we live in today. Instead of making little choices every day that can improve our circumstances, we dig ourselves further into our circumstances and watch our frustration and unhappiness grow. And even if it seems like there is no choice because we have to pay bills, worry about our children or think there is nothing better out there, holding onto the possibility that things can change at least opens up a doorway for solution. While you may not be able to leave your job right now because you have a mortgage and other bills, understanding that you are the powerful co-creator of your life allows you to search for the maybe – “maybe not today, but a better future is possible” or “maybe there is a different way to look at this.” When we understand that we really are in charge, we can step out of the smallness of our victim selves and begin to imagine a different future. Instead of sidestepping our responsibilities with statements like “I can’t”, begin to recognize the limitation of our thoughts and words so you can begin to shift and see a different reality.

Weekly Path to Peace: Become the Powerful Co-Creator of Your Life.

Begin this week by noticing all the ways you cast yourself as the victim or relieve yourself of responsibility. Do you blame others for your circumstance? Do you tell yourself it’s impossible to live a different life? Do you deny yourself the opportunity to see possibility, even with all the things you dislike about your life? Write out all the ways you side step responsibility for your life.

Begin slowing to take back responsibility and become the powerful co-creator of your life. Pick one area of your life where you know your life circumstances would be better if you took more responsibility. Is it with your health, personal relationships, work? Create an action step this week that will allow you to take more responsibility. Perhaps it’s spending five minutes connecting with another individual, talking to a headhunter or devoting time to a project you’ve brushed aside. Just pick one small step toward more responsibility. 


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