I wrote the book "Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing" that is a compilation of inspirational verses and accompanying photographs of wrought-iron gates. Toward the end of the book, I have one picture of a gate that looks like a man with a top hat on, and his arm raised in the air in salute. I named it Celebration of Choices, as if he's celebrating the fact that he has choices in his life.
I can also celebrate the fact that I have choices, for I do, with everything I do, everything I feel. Up until about 5 years ago, though, I got angry when people said I could choose to be happy. I needed to heal from my emotional wounds first.
The magical thing I eventually learned is... I always have a choice, even then, when I wasn't healed. Before I was healed, the choice I chose was to take responsibility for my healing. I didn't see that as a choice, when, in fact, it was. I just knew I was in pain and it wasn't going away.
Once I took action to heal from my wounds with such things as therapy and getting sober and sticking with it through the horrible emotional times, I began to heal and I began to be grateful for little things in my life. That small amount of gratitude grew into more gratitude.
I started to realize that I always have a choice when I began to learn to be grateful. Once I learned how to choose gratitude, I was able to choose to be happy, to see the bright side of my life. This does not negate my need to have mourned and grieved my life to that point; I needed to do that first.
But even that was a choice, as opposed to staying stuck in the misery in which I was stuck. And I was really stuck - blaming others for my sadness, my wounds. When I unknowingly made the choice to become responsible for my healing and to stop blaming other people, places, and things, it all began to change, although I wasn't aware of the choice I'd made yet. It was learning to be grateful that changed my perception of choice, as I described above.
Being consciously aware that I have choice in every matter in my life was extremely powerful. It still is empowering. I use my choice to get out of bad situations and relationships, for example. I use it to choose how to take care of myself - physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I choose when to speak up for myself and when to remain quiet. I consciously choose how to go about each day.
There are consequences for every choice I make and it is my choice to accept the consequences of each and every one. That's the thing about choice... I can always choose again.
Do you see that you, too, have choices in your life? Or are you stuck, staying in that dead-end, and possibly abusive, relationship out of the fear of being alone? Or, continuing to drink when your life is hell because of it and you're dying inside? Do you see you have a choice to heal? I hope you see the choices, for knowing that you have choice brings great freedom and peace to your life. At least, it did to mine and I hope it does to yours.