Do you ever wonder if you are really the one in charge of your life? Of course, that seems obvious. Who else would be in charge of my life? I seem to be the one making decisions about what to do, making choices every day from many opportunities. I’m the one thinking the thoughts, feeling the feelings, taking the actions.
And yet, if you are experiencing any form of discontent, disappointment, or disillusionment, maybe you are not fully at choice in your life. Maybe you’re feeling more like the victim than the victor. You ask: Why does the worst always happen to me? Why did that decision I made not turn out the way I expected? Why did that path I chose not lead me to my desired destination?
You cannot be a victim when you take responsibility for the choices you make. What that means is that when you make a choice, say to take a certain job, if it ultimately doesn’t work out, you can accept that you chose it and can make a new choice. You don’t have to blame the boss, the co-workers, or the customers. And you don’t have to blame yourself or beat yourself up. You just decide to make a new choice.
When you accept responsibility for your choices, you feel a sense of power and freedom. Although you don’t have control over the results of your choices, you do have control over your response to those results—what you think, feel, and do. In every moment of every day, you decide how you will react to what shows up in your world. You can choose to view occurrences in a positive way or not.
When you make conscious choices, you have the ability to override any habitual negative patterns, voices from the past, or choices that no longer serve you. You get an opportunity to look at your choices to see if they’re really yours, or if they’re based on what others told you was good and right for you. It’s a real awakening when you start to see you are not fully at choice in your life, when you realize your choices are coming from parents, society, or peers.
Have you ever heard the story of the woman who always cuts her Easter ham at both ends before she places it in the roasting pan? Every year her husband questions her, and every year she says that’s the way our family always did it, so it must be right. One year, her grandmother visits for Easter and notices what she’s doing and asks her why. When she explains, the grandmother says, “Oh, honey. I did it that way because the roasting pan I had was too small for the ham!” Whose choices are you living by?
When we become aware of whose choices we are living by and start living by our own choices, we gain a sense of ease in our life. When we know we can’t control circumstances, yet we can control how we respond to circumstances, we gain a sense of confidence in ourselves, that we can handle whatever comes our way.
Each day upon arising, you get to choose how you will live that day. You choose your thoughts, actions, and responses. You have the power to take charge of your life and to watch your life unfold magnificently.