“Why should I stay at the bottom of a well, when a strong rope is in my hand?” -Rumi
Sometimes in life we find ourselves in some pretty shitty situations that we just really don’t want to be in. We start feeling discouraged, depressed, and (even worse) stuck! We may not even realize how we ended up in a certain predicament but now that we’re in it we may not see any way out and we feel hopeless. Over time we get so used to our current situation that we forget that we can actually choose something different. So often we place the power that we have over our lives in the hands of other people. We have to constantly remind ourselves that, even in sucky situations, we still have power (and usually it’s a whole lot more than we actually realize). So what is this power and how can you start using it?
The power that I am speaking about is the power of choice. Okay, okay, I know what you’re probably thinking. The power of choice?! Hold on, hear me out. You probably remember last year when Kanye West caught a lot of heat for saying that slavery was a choice. I’m not crazy enough to jump into that debate right now, but his comment really made me think about the choices and the decisions that we are all faced with everyday. No matter what situation we may find ourselves in, there will always be choices for us to make. The type of choices that we are faced with can range anywhere from being very difficult choices, to pretty obvious choices, to choosing how we will respond to situations that are totally beyond our control- but in some way there will be a choice to make. It’s important to remember this.
For example, if you get up everyday and go to a job that you absolutely hate -that is a choice you are making. If you’re on social media following people/pages that you really don’t like or that make you feel bad about yourself – that is a choice that you are making. If you’re in a friendship or relationship that is no longer healthy or fulfilling to you, guess what, you have a choice there as well.
I get it. It’s hard. I also understand there are a lot of things that are simply beyond our control. However, let’s be real, sometimes we just get so comfortable and used to a certain situation or way of life that we forget that we have options outside of the current habitual choices that we are making each and every day. Once you recognize how much power you have it makes it a lot harder to complain about it or to to remain complacent. We go through life everyday making hundreds of choices. We choose what we eat, we choose how we will spend our time and money, we choose how we respond to and interact with other people, we choose what we feed our minds, we choose to make excuses instead of finding solutions, and I could go on and on. A lot of people don’t even consider these seemingly small actions as choices. They feel like they have no choice in many of the things that they do and they go through their entire lives allowing life to happen to them instead of making life happen. Most people make mindless decisions based on the past and the ‘that’s how it’s always been done’ mentality. It’s quite tragic if you asked me.
Often times people complain about their job, their weight, their spouse, their finances etc. Even when they are offered viable options on how to fix the problems they simply come up with every reason in the book why those solutions won’t work. Why is that? Because it’s easier to blame our mistakes, our past experiences, our less than perfect parents, our evil bosses, our super busy schedules, or our inattentive spouses for the choices that we make and the dissatisfaction we feel with our current lot in life. It’s a lot easier to do that than it is to hold ourselves accountable for making better choices and creating different/better habits. Somebody stop me if I’m lying.
If weight loss is your goal then you know that you have to make better choices with your diet and exercise routines right? Instead of making excuses, you have to find solutions and make it a priority. If you feel stuck in a toxic job, you can choose to either address what is making you unhappy or you may have to choose to leave that job. If you’re following pages on social media that you don’t like, you can block, mute, or unfollow. This same concept applies to relationships and friendships too. It may be more difficult because you’re dealing with another person who has their own choices to make. Sometimes, based on the choices and actions of someone else, you will have to act accordingly and choose to remove yourself from the situation if it is no longer conducive to your health and happiness. Obviously this will not always be an easy choice, but it is your choice and it is the power that you have.
The bottom line is this, no matter what the situation, if you search you will find choices there to be made and if you don’t like where you are in life you can choose to change it. You are not a tree. Move!