Early Morning Thoughts ~ "But they made me…" (continued)

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
George Eliot

As I looked back over the two(1) posts(2) I’ve done about choices, the reality of making these decisions personal becomes more and more important. I’m not talking about the choices that have the distinct road maps with the flashing signs saying: “turn here.” But rather, the ones that are subtle, hidden and not so obvious. And, while they are subtle, hidden and not so obvious – they have ramifications that carry far beyond what we might think.

Instead of looking at life as a narrowing funnel, we can see it ever widening to choose the things we want to do, to take the wisdom we’ve learned and create something.
–Liz Carpenter

And, these choices are unsettling, there is no doubt of that. I don’t like uncertainty. I put up with ZZ for the length of time I did partially because the choices I faced were not clear-cut and hanging heavy with the possibility of failure. Of course, when I was placed in a situation where I had to make decisions quickly and with little or no thought – I made some poor choices.

Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.
–Jim Rohn

But based on what I had faced over the past few years (I posted some heavy posts called Poison to Medicine that deals with that) I admitted where I made the choices, and work to change the ones that need changing – or – at the very least influence their outcome. This meant going deep within and really listening to what was within me. Of course, there were those that wanted to help – and I appreciate that. Ultimately however – the choice was mine. I was in a place where even if I had said “But look what they/he/she/you made me do!” would not only seemed hollow, no one (including myself) would have believed it. A speaker once said that the subtle choices ultimately should fall into three categories: Good … Better … Best …

For what is the best choice, for each individual is the highest it is possible for him to achieve.
–Aristotle

These divisions appear to make the choices even more difficult, but in reality they make the road map more clear. First – they free me to not worry about where the pitfalls may lie. Had I listened to what I knew I would not have made the lesser choices I’ve made in the past. I would have taken the time and the energy to listen within and to see what would have possibly be a better option.

There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.
–Denis Waitley

I have mentioned the other night “poor Mr. Quinby” who had really sound ideas, but it is difficult to find direct mentions of him in this day and age. Part of the reason is that with many good and sound ideas, people took what was a good idea and took it far beyond what was the original intent or what could be support by actual experience. He charted choices, and realized that when I look at a choice ONLY as in the following:

That is GOOD or BAD
You should THINK or FEEL
Tell Me YES or NO
This Belongs To YOU or ME
Do You Love ME or THEM

I was limiting and in a sense, harming the decision making process. When many magicians do card tricks – the “pick a card, any card” type, very often the choice is forced. I will pick the card I’m supposed to – this also applies to my personal subtle choices:

Most of us have been raised with the “forced choice” of ONLY two choices — but parents, teachers, siblings, lovers, therapists. Very often neither choices is useful as presented, and allows us only the unpleasantness of a double bind choice.

SHARING
is the common functional issue.
EITHER-OR
is the common dysfunctional issue.
But over and over, it comes back to the over-riding thought – we are personally responsible for the choices we make.

Right now you are one choice away from a new beginning – one that leads you toward becoming the fullest human being you can be.
–Oprah Winfrey

more on this tomorrow

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