Choice is a peculiar thing. I recently caught myself saying, “well, it’s not like I have a choice,” and woke up to the sound of the words leaving my mouth. Not choosing is the reason I’m miserable, not the lack of choice.
Let me explain. Choice comes with ownership and empowerment. Decision comes with a pre-determined set of outcomes, a sense of falling victim to these pre-determined outcomes, and a loss of power. One thing we tend to forget is our ability to choose when it seems a decision needs to be made or when there seems to be no decision at all: an autoimmune condition, a miscarriage (or two or three), a tragic accident, financial difficulty, or the loss of a loved one. Who would willingly choose these things? Who would you be if you did?
Back to the example in the beginning: Baby Hank has an ear infection and has been NOT sleeping in our bed. Therefore, no one has been sleeping. Work has been especially busy requiring a few 10-12 hour days and it’s all starting to feel pretty overwhelming. Today, many coworkers commented on how tired I looked. I relayed the story about Hank’s ear, not sleeping, and they are very much aware of demands at work. They respond, “wow, I don’t know how you do it all.” And to that I say, “well, it’s not like I have a choice.”
Not choosing drains personal power. It creates victims. It creates suffering. I was a suffering victim until those words came out and I woke up.
I choose less sleep. I choose commitments at work. I choose this season.
As soon as I had reclaimed my power to choose, I stopped feeling tired, I stopped feeling like a victim of my life situation, I stopped arguing with reality. When we stop living in the past by fighting the past, we can finally start living in the now. We can create from chaos; we can grow from setbacks; we can love from heartbreak.
What can you choose today? What possibilities are created by reclaiming your personal power?
-Melissa Hemphill, BIRTHFIT Colorado