Thursday, March 13, 2014

We do have choices

Choice. It's a powerful thing, isn't it? But perhaps you don't always feel you have a choice about things. Certainly, there's much that happens in our lives about which we have no choice. Stuff just happens. You and I do have choices, however, in how we respond to experiences and situations. It doesn't always feel as though we do. But we do.

Yesterday we talked about our emotional energy system. When we are aware of our feelings, we do have a choice as to what we do with them. Feelings just are. They aren't good or bad. They just happen without conscious thought. What is conscious, however, is what we do with those feelings. We have choices when we're angry with someone, for example. Are we going to yell at that person? Are we going to strike out, as we may have done as small children? Are we going to give that person the "cold shoulder"? Or are we going to hit the pause button and think about the safest and most effective way to deal with that anger? How might we express it? Do we need to talk over with the person how we feel? Will that help? Can we do it calmly, without judgment and in a way that moves us (and them) forward? Or is it something with which we need to deal on our own because it's really about our own issue?

Choices. It's important to realize we do have personal power to make choices. And it's important to think those choices through. What's safe? What's helpful? What won't damage someone else—or me? Stop responding automatically to feelings—and be conscious about next moves. It's so much better for relationships. It's so much better for our own health. It's not always easy. I struggle with good responses and choices. We all do. But it's worth thinking about and trying to make conscious—and good—choices.

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