I woke thinking about CHOICES this morning …
Our lives are made up of an accumulation of choices and consequences, that create the experiences we have. If we aren’t happy with our lives, then all we need to do is make a different choice, but sometimes we get stuck in an unpleasant experience because of the way we think about it. We feel powerless to change our circumstances and begin to suffer the consequences of our choices, which is an experience in itself.
EVERY experience is an opportunity to learn and grow from …
We make choices every day and in every moment. Many of those choices become habitual. We decide when to wake up, what to wear, what to do, where to go, who to spend our time with and how to live our lives. These choices are subtler, but they can and DO have a huge impact upon our life experiences. Other choices are the kinda life changing choices that have the ability to totally alter our experiences. Every choice has its own set of consequences and some can be difficult lessons to learn, but if our lives are an accumulation of choices and consequences, then we can begin to experiment with our life choices.
As I reflect upon my life, I begin to have a deeper sense of appreciation for my struggles. Because without my struggles, I wouldn’t have learned any of the lessons I have learned. My struggles have often reflected a resistance to change, which has been connected to an inner conflict. I notice the struggle when Im rejecting a different reality thats trying to manifest itself, which can create suffering if I keep resisting the change.
I suppose thats why I woke thinking about CHOICES.
I recall a conversation I had with Mam while walking on the beach. She was concerned about a choice I was making in love because she was worried about the consequences of those choices. Although LOVE motivated both of our choices, we were both becoming a little agitated with one another, which happened a lot with us. Mam wanted to protect me from “mistakes” which she understood as being “bad choices” but I believed my heart was guiding me towards the experiences I needed to have. Mam didn’t want me to suffer the consequences of my choices, but I believed if I didn’t follow my heart, then I wasn’t living my truth. We talked about our need to protect our children from hurt and how that can impact upon their growth. As Mothers, we think its our duty and responsibility to guide our children (whatever age they are) into the direction we “think” is best for them, but I challenged that belief because I understand the need to protect is attached to our need to reduce our own suffering. Because when our kids are happy, then we are … right?
Many of my inner conflicts have been attached to the challenges I’ve had with my family. As a child I constantly challenged those I loved with my curiosity and open nature, and I’ve never grown out of it. If anything, my struggles have deepened my curiosities and made me even more open. Granted, not everyone appreciates or celebrates that, but it’s my curious nature that motivates me to explore and live life to the fullest, and it’s my openness to experience that attracts the many gifts and blessings I receive.
When my choices are guided by my curiosity and openness to NEW experiences, I begin to experience the magic, but to have these experiences I have to be willing to let go of the OLD. To release myself from the limitations of my mind and the struggles that create my suffering. Each choice generates a different set of consequences and manifests a different experience. If we are mindfully aware, we will soon come to realize and learn to appreciate, that our choices will generally reflect the lesson life is teaching us.
I made the choice to come here, to work and live in the Buddhist Retreat because it was time to take a step back into life, but I wasn’t sure which direction to go in. After loosing our parents, I felt lost and alone in life because they were always my safe place to fall during the major transitions in my life. Although friends offered sanctuary and support, I needed to have a sense of SELF, but aspects of who I was died when I lost my parents.
If I no longer have a Mother and Father, then am I no longer a Daughter?
I’ve often described the death of our parents as being an Apocalyptic experience, because when Mam was dying the ground beneath me shattered, and when Dad was dying the sky fell down upon me. The whole experience has been an unveiling of lessons and truths, which could only occur when my world fell apart. In truth, it was my fixed identify that was crumbling, which is cause for celebration, but first I had to grieve the loss of who I once was. Like ALL transitions and transformations we only suffer if we resist the change that is naturally occurring. Truth is, NOTHING stays the same and EVERYTHING changes moment to moment. To flow with life is to accept this truth and allow ourselves to BE fully present in those moments, however uncomfortable.
Like a tree, our seeds of intentions are nourished and nurtured by our thoughts.
Although conditions may hinder its growth, the nature of an acorn is to become the mighty oak it was intended to BE. So, as a conscious BEing we have the ability to make conscious choices instead of allowing our habitual thoughts take control.