I Am Free ChoicePosted: September 20, 2012
Some people in New Thought set their intention for the day every morning. I do a version of that by writing, “Another day to be glad in” and I list ten things I am grateful for. Beyond gladness, my intention is sometimes fuzzy. I can struggle with choice when it comes to making plans for my day.
Since I’m semi-retired, I sometimes have a bit of a challenge deciding what to do. I have plenty of great choices but they’re not usually urgent. While that’s good news it also can be the bad news.
I’m working on several projects but I have no regular job so, with the exception of my commitment to ministerial class, everything else is choice. Hard to believe that freedom of choice can be a problem, isn’t it?
That freedom sounded wonderful in the days when I was up at the crack of dawn to teach English five days a week. Although I had more choice over managing time when I was selling real estate, or writing for teens, or running the church, my urgent to-do list was generally packed.
Now I have a flexible – vaguely normal schedule that includes prayer, meditation, prayer partners, writing and research, errands, art activities, social phone calls and social activities. There are also the necessary but still pretty flexible errands, household chores, exercise.
Usually, I know what I plan to do on a particular day but some days, I do my early morning stuff and then I am in a quandary. Quandary is one of those words like yonder. It exists but nobody knows where it is.
Shall I take a drive to the ocean? Call a friend? Work on my new book? Watch a movie? Write in my journal? Draw and paint? Usually, I make a quick choice and celebrate with gratitude that I have the health, wealth and time to enjoy life. Those are the good news days.
Other days I have to climb out of my quandary before I can do anything. That’s usually when what I really desire is to read one of my historical novels. The trouble with that choice is that I always feel that reading fiction is a bit sinful, like eating chocolate or staying in bed till noon.
Old habits die hard. I learned to feel guilty about that choice because when I was a child I was a compulsive reader. I simply went into the book and stayed until it was over. I am still determined to finish when I start a novel. When I read Gone With the Wind, I become Scarlet. And what’s more, I love being Scarlet.
During my full-time ministerial career, I didn’t read very much fiction. I would gleefully take six or seven paperbacks in my suitcase when I was going to conferences but that was like a vacation. Usually, I taught classes nearly every evening and worked in the church during in the daytime. I really didn’t have much spare time.
When I stepped down from being a pastor, I delighted in my return to fiction. I am now enjoying my novels a great deal. It is one of the gifts of growing older and I’ve learned to appreciate books even more as the movies and television seem aimed at twenty year olds.
However, old habits die hard. This morning, I wanted to finish the book I started last night but I chose to start writing this blog instead. If not today, it would be tomorrow. Since then, I’ve taken two phone calls and spent two hours on errands.
Those things needed to be done and I thought today was a good day to do them. I take full responsibility. I wanted to talk on the telephone to people I love. The errands were better done today because heads into the weekend. My choices were mine and they seemed sensible.
The important thing is that I know that I am not a victim. I don’t feel sorry for myself. If I had chosen to read all day, I still would not have felt guilty. It is my day and my choices!, Whatever choices they are, I claim them. I am so grateful to Science of Mind for showing me that I have free will and can exercise it every day of my life. I am so grateful to know how free I am.
In college, I heard about an experiment with rats that proved that two positive choices created as much stress as two negative choices. That fact haunted me and it seemed better not be offered too much. Then Science of Mind helped me figure out that it was my inability to deal with choices that was haunting.
I am not a rat! I can handle two positive choices! I do it all the time.
There was a time when I would get stuck in decisions over what to do and feel absolutely trapped. I felt as though I was at the mercy of life, whether it came in the form of chocolate or a new novel. Feeling trapped led me to experience guilt or feel sorry for myself. I am so glad that’s healed because I don’t need negative emotions.
Today, I celebrated my choice by delaying my reading until I wrote the blog. I also delayed my blog writing long enough to do the errands and phone calls. I’m happy with every choice I made. It’s a wonderful feeling to be happy instead of guilty, mistreated or frustrated. I will read this evening.
Won’t you join with me in knowing that we always have choices? Even if something happens that is outside our control, we can choose our responses. While it is true that we can’t do everything we want, all at one time, it is also true that we can decide what to do first.
This has been a great day. I celebrate the wisdom and the power of my experiences. I celebrate the fact that I don’t have any reason to feel like a victim. I celebrate that I know what I know.
Do good choices confuse or stress you?
How do you decide what to do first?
Do you feel comfortable with your choices today?
What would you like to choose for tomorrow?