It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

When something you don’t like is happening in your life, what do you do? What can you do? I often find myself faced with three options: I can seek external change, I can seek internal change, or I can try to ignore it. The title of my blog is borne out of the third option, the part where I find myself trying to ignore a problem, bury feelings, or just live with something that doesn’t feel good or right – often having forgotten that this is a choice. Then I remember:

It doesn’t have to be this way.

We always have a choice to make, to continue what we are doing, or to change course. That choice is inherent in the actions we take and the priorities we make from the moment we get out of bed in the morning to the moment we get back in it at the end of the day. Every day, those of us who work choose to continue working, we choose to remain in our relationships, our friendships, and we make these choices simply by continuing to show up.

Recognize your choices. Know that you can make different ones.

We also make a number of internal choices – and these are harder to identify and much less tangible, because they have to do with patterns of thoughts and feelings. I have found internal change to be slow, hard work, that is ultimately very fulfilling – rooting out automatic feelings of negativity aimed both at myself and at others, practicing new ways of thinking, practicing self-awareness. Again, for those of us who are able, it is a choice – do you accept the status quo, or do you work to make a change?

I am not an expert on change any more than anyone else is – my knowledge comes entirely from my experiences as a human being, living in the world. My writing may be rough, my ideas may sometimes be ones that have already been catalogued in a great detail in a book somewhere written by someone else, but regurgitating knowledge is not my purpose. I am writing to share what I have learned and am learning in the context of real life issues, and to invite others to join me in the process.

As I wrap up my introduction to this blog, I have one more thing for you to chew on before I dive into a more applied topic: We all make these choices every day – why do we make the decisions we do? For love? For health, or for wealth? For safety? For hope? Do we make our decisions out of fear, and if so, fear of what? It’s worth considering, friends. Think about it.

Until next time, C.

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2 Responses to It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way

  1. lynneterzis says:

    Nice job, C! I want to ponder the questions you left for us more deeply, but the first word that came to mind for me was ‘inertia’ – I think many of my decisions are the result of not actively making a decision, but rather allowing choices to narrow until I am directed down one path or another…apathy, perhaps?

  2. Hmm, I think many of us just go through our day-to-day lives making these decisions without thinking about them – that sounds a lot like what I’m trying to draw attention to with this post!

    That said, we make so many decisions every day that it’s probably not practical to spend time actively considering each one. Things like choosing to continue going to work every day are the kinds of decions that become default, and usually for a good reason. The active decision to stop working or change jobs, for example, is one that may take a certain amount of consideration over a long period of time before the daily decision changes. In my own life, especially if I’m frustrated or disappointed at work, I remind myself of the other options I have, other work I could pursue. This may sound scary or dramatic, but it’s not, because I make the decision every day. So far, I’ve continued to feel firm in my daily choice to continue, and pause to reconsider increases my resolve to push through.

    In terms of the questions I posed at the end of my post, what comes to my mind are those situations in which something feels wrong. This could be a situation in which someone is choosing to ignore the problem, perhaps out of fear of facing it. It could also be something more tangible – choosing a miserable job for the sake of wealth or security, and possibly buried under that, for the sake of reputation.* This kind of questioning leads me to consider what my priorities are in life.

    C

    *These examples, of course, apply to those who have the privilege of being able to make these kinds of decisions with a certain amount of financial stability.

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