It’s your choice Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 17:30
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“I’m sure my life was well within its usual frame, The day before you came . . . I must have gone to bed around a quarter after ten. I need a lot of sleep, and so I like to be in bed by then . . . It’s funny, but I had no sense of living without aim, The day before you came.”

Do you remember these lyrics? ‘The day before you came’ by Abba (although I got to know the song through Tanita Tikaram’s version) always triggers something in me. Whether we know it or not in the moment, things happen that create a border line between my-life-before and my-life-after.

Meeting someone new is a case in point. So is breaking your leg. Still, not all changes are thrust upon us out of the blue. Neither are all changes the result of a fork-in-the-road situation where you have to choose between going left or right. Most changes are so subtle that we find it difficult to pinpoint the day they started.

Madisyn Taylor says that we are almost always in the process of learning something new, developing an under-used ability or talent or toning down an overused one. Some of us are learning how to speak up for ourselves, while others are learning how to be more considerate.

It is a natural part of this process that things tend to get out of balance. When learning how to set boundaries for the first time, we might start saying no to just about everything, much like a child who learns a new word. It is just a phase.

Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life, says Madisyn. This can be bewildering if we don’t realize what is happening. Actually, confusion and disorientation are often the messengers that tell us that a shift is taking place within us. Think teenager here.

With each transition from one phase of life to another, you have to learn how to say good-bye to the identity you formed to help you move through a particular time. If you form these identities around your looks, in relationships or jobs, life becomes unsettled when your looks change, the relationship is over or you lose the job.

Within any phase of your life there are choices, not necessarily of where to go, but of how and why, says Teri Uktena. She says it is like standing on one side of a river. The choice is not whether to cross, because you already know you need to get to the other side. The question is how to get there and why you should choose one way over the other.

Many people would like to see the river they must cross as a battle, as a dragon you must slay so that you can follow your bliss. Actually, most of the choices you have to make involve mundane, everyday things. But, each choice is a crossing that defines you.

For example: It’s not about whether you should buy groceries or not. If you want to eat, groceries would be the way to go. It’s about how you go by it, says Teri. Do you do it out of the perspective of a victim who has no other choice? Do you do it as a tyrant who will demand compensation from others for having done it at all? Do you do it as the hero sacrificing yourself for the wellbeing of others or as a celebrity for the acclaim you’ll receive in saving the day?

What you are choosing is your own story, which may be the most terrifying, complex, blissful and profoundly loving choice of all. Depending on your perspective, the events in your story can mean anything.

Don’t waste energy protesting against what has happened in your life story. Ask yourself: Why is it good that this happened? What unusual opportunity has this created? From now on, when you tell others about one of your roughest challenges, include the reason why it was good for you.

By choosing the way you tell your story, you take the first step towards the river you must cross. Is it the right step? The right river? Stop waiting for the faeries to sprinkle glitter on your forehead as a sign that you’re on the right path. Paths are made by walking.

So, girlfriend, just take the step in front of you. Right now.

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