Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Have you heard it said, “You can’t help who you fall in love with”; or the excuse, “I couldn’t help myself”; or the claim, “So-and-so made me do it”?  Have you said one or all of those things yourself?  I know I have. What I’m learning is that all those statements are bunk!

We all have free will and all those statements are lies because you do decide with whom you fall in love with, you can make a different choice and unless someone is holding a gun to your head, no one can make you do anything (even if someone is holding a gun to your head, you still have a choice I suppose).

When positive or negative circumstances happen to us it is a direct or even indirect result of a choice of our own and/or of someone else or even a combination therein.  Think of something “random” that has happened to you, negative or positive, and think of all the decisions that needed to take place for that to happen just the way it did.

We are accountable to our own actions and sometimes we suffer from the actions of others.  It may not be fair, but remember, sometimes other people suffer (or even benefit) from the consequences from the decisions we make as well.   What I’m not saying is that we need to take the blame (shame, guilt etc.) for our past choices or place the blame (shame, guilt etc.) on anyone else.  Regret is a time thief and does nothing to change the outcome of any given circumstance.  But that doesn’t prevent us from learning and gaining wisdom from our decisions of the past to benefit the future.

Realizing that we all are accountable for our decisions as well as free to make our own decisions helps us to understand our own individual power.  Therefore, we can conclude that everyone else is just as powerful as us.   Since everyone is just as powerful, we need to recognize that the only person we can control is ourselves and that’s especially true in our closest relationships.  Remember, love is a choice and we can choose to love someone even when they are not acting particularly loving towards us.  We are also free to choose not to love them anymore, but then we can’t turn around and tell others it was their fault when the relationship ends because it was our choice to end it.  We are free to choose to forgive people……or not. We are free to allow others to make unwise choices, and we are even free to offer them help……but then they are also free to accept the help or not, but that is because it is a matter of choice.

There is a good book about this subject which I am in the middle of reading.  It is called, Keep Your Love On: Connection Communication and Boundaries, by Danny Silk and it has shown me how powerless I have been behaving all my life.  I am involved with a women’s group which is actually studying this book and if you’re in the Walnut, CA area and are interested in joining us, email me at dailytlc@gmail.com and I’ll give you the details.  If you have children there is a book by the same author called, Loving Our Kids On Purpose: Making A Heart-To-Heart Connection which includes practical actions for raising children who are powerful and have self-control.  I have even started using some methods on my own sons who are 16 and 20 because it’s never too late!

We are powerful.  We are free.  I’m just learning a bit at a time what that means so won’t you join me in practicing all that freedom has to offer?

-Tessa L. Charles

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