I decided I would do a series of blog posts on choices. This is the first one in the series.
I have discussed various times such things as the inner chatter in your mind, feeling like you don’t/didn’t fit in, shame, emotions, and self-worth to name a few. Throughout your life did you feel like you had choices? Through the times when your mind was yelling all those negative seemingly hateful things at you did you feel like you had a choice to turn the volume down or shut it off? Did you feel like you had a choice to show your emotions or not? I could do the same thing for each item I mentioned but I believe I have made my point and I’m betting your answers were no I didn’t feel like I had a choice. I’m betting you felt like these things were happening to you. The reality was they were not but when we are in these mindsets and having these experiences it is hard to see we have a choice to change them.
I remember when my inner chatter was at its worst I had no idea I could make it stop all on my own. Honestly, I thought I was losing my mind. I figured there was something wrong with me because I didn’t see anyone else going through the same thing. The other side of the coin is, of course, I didn’t see anyone else going through the same thing because I never said anything out loud so no one knew what I was dealing with either. We live in our own protected hell out of fear of letting others see what a mess we are. It honestly never occurred to me that I had a choice that it could be different. I thought it was just me and the way I was wired. Fortunately, when I hit the wall and things had to change I learned I have choices. Choices in all areas of my life.
Did you grow up thinking that there was an unspoken order to things? I did. You went to school. You were supposed to get good grades. You would go onto University or College. You would graduate with good grades. You would get a job. You would get married. You would have children. You would buy a house. Work until you were 65 and retire. Does any of that sound familiar? Does it feel like there is a lot of choices within that structure? Well, there are some. Like the school you will go to. The friends you will have. Oh, wait there is a caveat to that as when you are younger, elementary and high school age, you don’t pick your school and your friends typically are vetted by your parents to make sure they are suitable. Okay, so your choices start when you get your first job in high school. Well, maybe not, because it depends on if it is a suitable job and your ability to get there. Hmmm … so suitability and location limit your choices. Can you see how easy it is for us to think we don’t have choices?
Stay tuned for the next post in the series which will look at choices in the next phase of life.