by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© January 2012, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
Life can be viewed as a continuous set of choices. The ones we make that are good for us make us happy, healthy, wealthy and much more. Those that are great have the opposite effects. Let us look at some daily choices we must make, whether we want to or not.
LIVE IN THE PAST OR FUTURE, OR IN THE PRESENT
You may choose to live in the past. You know you are living in the past when you feel guilt, resentment or remorse. If only I had said or done it differently. If only I had bought the other house, married the other person, moved elsewhere, taken the other job, and so forth.
Perhaps you dwell on the 'good old days'. This is a convenient way to avoid what is before you, miss the beauty and opportunities of the moment.
You may choose to live in the future. You know you are living in the future when you are plagued with anxiety, worry or fear. You find yourself saying "What if...". You may find yourself fearing to get up in the morning! After all, something terrible could happen.
The alternative is to live in the present. When fear, anxiety, guilt or remorse appear, just notice that you have slipped into the past or future. Bring yourself back to the present. Realize that all things are resolved in the present. You can never go back, and you cannot know the future.
You can know that you have always done your best under the circumstances. Any corrections or apologies can and must be made now - in the present. That is how the past is undone. If you need to forgive or apologize to someone who has died, you can do it by speaking to them in your heart. If you feel anxious about the future, recall the biblical statement that God takes care of the birds and the animals. Would He not take care of you?
BE A VICTIM OR A CO-CREATOR
Will you choose victimhood? It is a very popular stance these days. You are a victim of your birth, genetics, upbringing, culture, government, religion, finances, sex, illness, relationships or some other scapegoat. Victims take credit when things go well. But when things go wrong, it was someone or something else's fault. Placing blame can feel good, as you compare yourself to the evil other. It is a cheap thrill that can occupy a lifetime and explain away all your perceived shortcomings.
The alternative is to take complete responsibility for yourself and your creations. It is a bit scary, but very empowering. After all, if you created it, you can uncreate it. Maybe not immediately, but in time, through changing your thinking and your perspective. Taking complete responsibility is a way of honoring your own power. Victimhood is a denial of your power. And you have the power to deny your power.
You can choose to love and accept yourself enough to realize you are a co-creator and have the power to change your life. You can choose to know you are loving, lovable, and loved. You can choose joy and peace, no matter the situation.
LIVE IN OBLIVION OR AWARENESS
You may choose to remain unaware, in a fog, half asleep, oblivious, a product of the media and the culture. You can choose to be an obedient statistic, a zombie who can be counted upon to buy what is advertised and vote for the candidate with the sweetest smile. You can choose to be a gullible sort, cannon fodder for the powerful and their lies that often pass for truth. Living in oblivion for many means using drugs, alcohol, tobacco, friends, television or any other handy method to dull your senses.
The alternative is to ask that the truth be revealed to you. Really go for truth. It is painful or disturbing at times. The truth may hurt if you find you are on the wrong path. But the truth can also set you free. It sets an entirely different tone for your life, a different direction - toward life, health, courage and fearlessness.
Asking for truth can be like waking up with your house on fire. But it is better to know than to be consumed.
BE EGOCENTRIC, OTHER-CENTERED OR GOD-CENTERED
You can decide that your ego knows best, and that it is capable of producing an abundant, joy-filled life. You can live in your own little world, with your ego at the center and everyone else whirling about it. There is a sense of security and power in this view, at least for a while.
The alternative is to use your desire and intention to allow and surrender into a larger oneness and wholeness with all of life. You can choose to accept all the love of God, and all of the loveliness, the gifts and the talents that are yours. You have treasures to share with others, but if you don't ask for the big picture, you may live and die without ever knowing what they are.
You can come to realize that God's will - that you be truly happy - is better than anything you can dream up yourself.
BE CONTROLLING OR LOVING
You may choose to control others - your children, your spouse, your boss, your employees or your friends. You may control overtly by threat, intimidation or actual force. Or you may choose subtle means of control through seduction, being too nice, staying silent when you ought to speak up, remaining when your ought to walk away - all in order to win or keep someone's favor.
You may become a master at controlling by making others feel guilty, or by confusing others with your words or actions. The method is not important. It is the underlying desire for control, really a fear of being out of control, that defines what you doing. Control works for a while. But others know when they are being manipulated, and eventually will resent you or hate you for it.
The alternative is to realize that love is the real power. It is not 'your' love, but simply love flowing through you. Love brings its own action. It may not be what your ego desires at first glance, but it frees you and it frees the ones you are with. You can choose to remove all the obstacles to the presence of love in yourself. You can realize that you have a choice in each situation to extend love, or to project fear.
BE IN CONFLICT OR AT PEACE WITHIN
You can choose to be at war with the world, always on the offensive or on the defensive. It is you against the world. Watch your back, and be sure to get your due. Do unto others before they do unto you. Judge and blame because it matters who is right..
Or you can choose peace. You can remind yourself in any situation, "I can be at peace in this situation". You can know that you are loved totally at all times, as is everyone else. You can know that God exists, that you are a spark of the Divine Flame, a ray of the Divine Sun, a drop in the divine ocean, that you are His Love and His Will in action. You are the extension of love in form, and thus you can be at peace at all times.
At peace within does not mean to be a pacifist. At times force is needed, for example if you see someone harming another, you may wish to intervene. However, you will do it from a place of peace. In other words, you can do what needs to be done, even sending someone to jail or physically using force, without anger and not for revenge, but because you calmly perceive it is the right thing to do in this situation.
FEEL ALONE OR BE ONE WITH ALL
You may choose to live in a vacuum, believing that you are essentially alone, an independent being, unconnected to the earth and the world around you.
Or you can honor the earth which provides for you, honor your nation, your government, your culture, your body and all that you inherit, no matter how imperfect they appear. To honor does not mean to resign yourself as a victim. It means to respect and understand, and seek to improve it for the benefit of self as well as for future generations.
You can realize that at some level we are all One. We share a common mind and a common body. You can realize that because we are all connected, your actions, no matter how trivial they appear, either uplift or degrade every other being, plant, animal and even rock on the planet.
You can realize that any emotion or thought you refuse to own and therefore project, lands on someone else who will act out your projected thoughts. It just appears to be happening 'out there'. You can realize that the world's problems are your problems, not someone else's.
You can choose to do your part, no matter how small, to bring about heaven on earth. It will happen. You can either impede it with your negativity or assist it with your positive thoughts and actions.
You can realize that since we are One, any time you overcome a bad habit, settle a dispute, overcome pain and suffering or do any kindness, it reverberates to uplift every other being.
BE IN JUDGMENT OR FORGIVENESS
In every situation, you may choose to judge who is right, who is wrong, what is good, and what is bad. This is how we are taught. The entire legal system is built upon placing blame and judgment. Daily we are told on television who is good and who is bad - whom to praise and whom to hate.
The alternative is to choose discernment and forgiveness. Yes, we must decide whom to work for, whom to marry, whom to live with, and so forth. But appearances can be deceiving. Discernment is a quiet feeling inside that tells you when it is safe to move toward a situation or person, or to move away. It does not carry any judgement, just a sense of what is best in the present moment. "Bad behavior" is often a cry for help. That one needs forgiveness, and the opportunity to make restitution, to become whole once again. You can offer forgiveness without condoning an action, and staying with that one. You can choose to forgive others because you realize that you are just forgiving an aspect of yourself.
BE IN POVERTY OR ABUNDANCE
You can choose to be undeserving, and live a life of contraction, lack, deficiency and unworthiness. This involves much more than material wealth. Even many with large bank accounts live in unworthiness and lack. It manifests hoarding resources, not enjoying life and not sharing whatever you have.
Or you can choose abundance, expansion, spaciousness and worthiness. This does not require material wealth. A simple lifestyle can be rich in all good things. It is a matter of intention, desire, choosing for abundance and sharing..
BE IN IGNORANCE OR KNOWINGNESS
You may choose to believe you are dull, stupid or ignorant. The schools with their grading systems have convinced millions of people they are 'below average' or 'failures'. Once learned, the label and the feeling that goes with it often stick for life. After all, you can't teach an old dog new tricks, can you? Many spend their life compensating, trying to look smart or the opposite. You may not accept challenges, you may settle for a job that is below your skill level, or watch television all day. It is fine to be humble and modest, but sometimes the choice to remain in ignorance is a subtle means to avoid responsibility and action.
The alternative is to choose to be intelligent or knowing. It doesn't require playing symphonies at age three. If you are reading this article, maybe you are smarter than you think.
Maybe you can start that project you have dreamed of. Maybe your dreams are not fantasy, but messages describing the real reason you were born and are here. Perhaps you do know what your body needs to be nourished and healthy. Maybe you need to do less seeking and realize there is nothing outside of yourself. Maybe you are knowing because you can connect inside with the source of all knowledge.
BE UNDER SIN OR GRACE
You can choose to live under the idea of sin. Many interpret this to mean you are stuck with the results of your mistakes, your incompetence, your silliness and your lies. Life is just one big spanking.
Or you can choose to live under the law of grace. Grace is not dependent upon works and it is not earned. It is there for you if you will but ask. You will decide when to allow it in your life. It has been discussed for 2000 years, but many people still haven't gotten the message: love and all good things wait upon your welcome.