We all make choices constantly. Per Rush, even when "you choose not to decide you still have made a choice!" This is something I learned early in life (probably from my mother? thank you, mom. Pretty sure I was exposed to the song lyrics by my aunt. thanks, AC!) and have been fairly conscious of since. As a textbook first child I am great at taking responsibility... even for things that aren't mine to be responsible for (namely other people's feelings and actions) and as a rather judgmental person I have a hard time having compassion for people who I perceive as irresponsible (and I don't mean that in the traditional sense in that there are certain irresponsible behaviors. I mean irresponsible as in people who don't take responsibly for who they are, what they say and do, and what their own life is life). I choose to have compassion anyway... but it doesn't come easy.
And there you have it. We have arrived at the topic of today's post. Choice.
I'm in a situation now where, in the darker moments, I feel like I don't have any choices.
The situation in a few sentences (for any new readers): At the height of my contentment with my family life my husband decided he didn't love me anymore and we aren't together now. He made the choice to end our marriage and I have to live with it. I have to share our son's time with him... I don't get a choice.
The reality is I have lots of choices; an infinite amount perhaps. If I wanted him to still live here I could have turned a blind eye to the cheating (too late for that). If I don't want to share our son's time I could run away in the middle of the night and take him with me (I'm not going to). There are more options, I can think of many... but the bottom line is that I don't want to choose any of them. They aren't in line with my values. They would hurt me or people I love and I'm not okay with that.
I suppose that's what people are saying when they say they don't have a choice... That philosophical difference in interpretation aside I know there is one thing we ALL ALWAYS have a choice about.
We can choose how we feel.
I used to think we couldn't choose how we feel; we could only choose how we respond. But I know now we can do both. I can't choose or control my immediate, internal responses, but I can certainly choose how I let those responses and the catalysts that triggered them effect me and ultimately how I feel about any situation.
I can say to myself and I will say to myself now, "Self, you're not going to run away to the Netherlands with spiderman. We're taking that option and any others that are of questionable moral fortitute off the table. You're going to choose to feel resolved, peaceful, and grateful. The moments you aren't with spiderman you are going to fill with people and things that you love. The moments you are with spiderman you are going to continue to be singularly focused on being his mother (the most important role you have). It doesn't matter that his father doesn't share in identical values and perspective. Spiderman is loved and safe. He will exposed to many people and ideas in his lifetime all of which will help him grow into the person he is destined to be. You have unlimited opportunties to pursue the opportunities on your path and for that you are grateful. Self, you feel resolved, peaceful, and grateful."
I feel resolved, peaceful, and grateful.
I'm working on a project, and I expect it will begin on the ever cliche January 1st... still working out the details, and I can't wait to share it with all of you!