If you've listened to almost any of my Sunday lessons, you already know that I talk a lot about freedom. On the level of our inner knowing of Truth, we are absolutely and completely free. We have the power to choose and make decisions without any constraints from within or without ourselves. We are free. No ifs, ands, or buts. Our work in consciousness is to release the barriers we have put up between our inner knowing of this freedom and the "Yeah, but..." or "If only..." thoughts which keeps us living in limitation.
Each of those barriers is self-imposed, even if it doesn't seem like it. Whether we dreamed up the barriers or accepted something that was said or implied by someone or something else, we are the ones who allow those barriers to remain in place. Removing those barriers requires letting go of what we think about those limitations, and letting go of what other people think, and letting go of what we think about what other people think. It involves fully (or even partially) accepting our own inherent worthiness.
We make so many choices each day: when to get up in the morning, what to wear, which route to take to work, whether to do laundry or wash the dishes or make the bed, and on and on. Some of you reading this might argue that you really don't get to choose when to get up in the morning or what to wear, but you do. Other choices you've made may require that you get up at a certain time or wear certain clothes, but at the bottom of it all, you've created the life experience you are living through the choices you've made.
The ability to make informed choices requires us to be self-aware. If our choice-making is purely reactive, our lives may resemble the chaotic path of a pinball, blindly bouncing off this barrier and that brick wall and on down that blind alley. Without self-awareness, we feel manipulated, victimized by circumstances. Once we begin to understand how Life works, we see that we are never victims of circumstances; circumstances are completely neutral. It is our experience of those circumstances which create our unique reality, and our experience will be shaped by the choices we make. (Notice, I am not saying we choose the circumstances of our lives. Circumstances happen. We choose how we experience those circumstances.)
Many of our choices have minimal impact on our lives; I do not believe that my choice to leave my bed unmade each morning creates a very big ripple in my life. Other choices obviously have a huge impact; whom to share our lives with, which career to pursue, whether to have children... Still other choices may seem huge or small, and yet might lead to consequences which were never imagined. Our choices are very important, and we can't really predict the outcome of our choices. Given all that, the question becomes, how do we choose optimally?
1. Start with a basic tool and affirm regularly (even when you don't think you have any "big" decisions to make): "Life is choices. I choose wisely."
2. When you notice yourself making a habitual choice, ask yourself, "Why am I making this choice? Am I choosing from victimhood or awareness of my true freedom? What might be the outcome if I choose differently?"
3. Practice with small choices. "What would happen if, instead of channel-surfing for ten minutes to end up landing on yet another Law and Order rerun, I simply turned off the TV?" "What if instead of logging on to Facebook before breakfast I log on to read Daily Word?"
4. Try the occasional stretch. Is it worth a few moments of vulnerability to tell your child/ partner/ friend that you appreciate them, or that you apologize for the harsh words you spoke to them?
The benefit to practicing with these tools is that, one day, when you recognize that you are standing at a major choice point, you will be much more likely to pause and center yourself. In full Self-awareness, you may stand in your fullest understanding of Truth and choose so wisely that you will always remember that moment, that choice, as one of the moments in your life which made all the difference from then on.
Yet again, Life is choices. Choose wisely.