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  • Writer's pictureErin E. McEndree

Choose to Make a Choice

We get pretty far along in life before we are allowed to start making choices for ourselves. We do not yet know the gravity of crossing the street or putting something in that curious hole in the wall that looks like it is smiling at us.

Think about the choices we have no control over. We have no control over the one sperm that fertilizes the egg out of roughly 800k released. We have no control over the one egg released at ovulation when 2 million are waiting. Out of infinite possibilities, you were created. We have no control over the hair color we were born with. Mine was the color of a Orange Crush soda. Our eye color, our race our location of birth are all chosen without our input. We have no control over who are parents are or how ready they are to parent. We have no control over abuse or neglect we suffer as a child or the love and encouragement given.

It is not until we get pretty far along in years before we understand we can make choices for ourselves. It may start with clothes you wear or food you eat or whether to obey our parents. We get to decide to do our chores and homework or face the consequences later if we don’t. We get to decide who we hang out with and if we do drugs or speed down the street. We decide if we are going to have sex and get married or get married and then have sex.

Many times we learn by trial and error. Thankfully, decisions in our formative years don’t hold the same weight as those later in life. Maybe that is why they are called formative; they form us. For example, I’m glad I dated an alcoholic in high school because if I would have been in college, I might have married him. I learned I didn’t want that in my life. Hopefully, we come to the conclusion that if we make better choices, we will feel better, look better and act better. We may change our eating habits, start exercising or learn to keep our anger under control.

Does a sudden change in our thinking or attitude suddenly make our problems go away. Sadly, no. You may still have diabetes. You will still be overweight. You may still have a broken relationship or be in financial troubles. The change will come gradually and sometime so slow you can't even see it. However, if you never start, a new outcome is impossible. You can choose to do life a different way to be physically, emotionally, spiritually and socially healthy or you can choose to stay the course and get what you always get.

Is there a time in your life you made a decision to change the choices you had no control over in your formative years? Maybe they were not serving you well? Do you struggle with indecision and slowly marinate in choices you didn’t make. They make you miserable, but you can’t find the resources or gumption to change. Are you allowing those choices you didn’t make to affect your future? Are there choices you continually make, even unconsciously, that make your life more difficult.

"See, I am setting before you today a blessing or a curse..." Deuteronomy 11:26

Making different choices likely involves the following: sacrifice, self-discipline, denying your feelings, seeking wise counsel, not giving up and forgiveness. Do you think you naturally attract these characteristics with no effort? What you think are roadblocks that others put in your path, can be overcome, but you have to tweak your current thoughts and actions. You can’t solve your problems with the same thinking you use to feed them.

1. Define who you are. What is your goto, knee-jerk reaction to upsetting words or events? Fear? Rebellion? Doubt? Lashing out? Demand your rights? Seek clarification? Give the benefit of the doubt?

2. What has snap reactions accomplished for you? Safety? Hurt feelings? Wrong motives? Define who you want to become.

3. Define your reactions before the next situation arises. Look to someone farther along in a similar situation than you are currently and talk to them. It may be someone you know who has forgiven a huge wrong done to them. It may be someone using their gifts and talents in a beneficial way. It may be someone who made it through bankruptcy or a divorce. It may be someone who has lost a child or a spouse.

The first step is to take a step. Let me know what your first step is and help you along your path. If you are ready to begin, target your goal and create action steps with a short guide I created called Goal Planning Workbook.



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