I was recently at a workshop where for the first time, I understood how precious life is and that it is our choice to make the best of it.
We are all on a blessed life journey with two options. We can live the way others would want us to and give them the power to shape our path. Or, we can choose to live by honouring what feels right for us.
Living as a shadow
The first option is the easy one. You can step back while someone else is doing the planning and decision-making for you. When something goes wrong, you have someone else to blame. It’s not your fault! It is like having a car but sitting in the backseat while the driver chooses where to take you and you just say yes, even if it is not where you want to go. It could be a nice ride, but is this the way you want to live? As a shadow?
In the long run, it might bring up a bag full of strong emotions such as frustration, anger and resentment. Although these remain suppressed at first, sooner or later, behavioural side effects crop up. The most common ones are depression, lack of self-confidence and in extreme cases, losing the will to live.
You have a choice
I have been living on both paths.
In high school, I absolutely hated Economics but I chose it only because I was told to do so. I was frustrated when I struggled with the homework and I dreaded the assignments. What I truly wanted to study was English Literature. No need to say that when the results were out, I was at the bottom of the list!
In one of my previous workplaces, a colleague and I were given extra tasks which were not part of our job profiles. She refused to take on more while I remained quiet. The outcome was that it all fell on me. At the time, it felt easier to do as I was told, rather than risk causing a disagreement. I resentfully did the extra work and I was angry at myself for ending up in this mess.
Looking back, I can see that if I had handled those situations from a place of truth, I would have been a lot happier.
Conscious Choices – Listening to the body
The way you live defines who you are. What if instead of going along with what everyone else thinks is right for you, you choose to create your own reality? Make conscious choices. Learn to listen to your body’s inner wisdom and choose from the heart, not the mind.
If you are not sure, check with your body. Think about one of the options and check how your body feels inside. If it is not the right thing for you, you might have an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach, the gut feeling. Then, just relax the body and allow it to come back to neutral. Now, think of the other option and check with your body once more. How does it feel? Go with what feels right for you.
Choosing consciously might give rise to arguments, but try staying true to yourself. By doing so, you are reclaiming your power from others. You are respecting the essence of who you really are. This also changes the way others perceive you, as you become emotionally stronger. They don’t try to bend and break you as they know that this game is not going to work anymore.
Choices do not necessarily involve other people. It can happen between you … and you! We often see this with eating habits. Each time you go past the fridge, you think of the piece of cake that’s inside it. You choose whether to open the fridge door and reach for the cake, or not. Your taste buds might be saying “Yes” while your hips are saying “Nooooooo!” This is where choosing consciously comes in. Stop and ask yourself what is the right thing to do here. It can be either really, but only you would know.
The Gift of Living
Being genuine to your emotions is a beautiful gift that you offer to yourself. No one else can give it to you. It is one of the best ways to lead your life in a constructive manner and find your inner happiness. Your positive attitude will also attract like-minded people in your life. It is a real blessing to be confident and communicate with openness.
Which path do you choose? The choice is yours!