Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve read just about every self-help book on the market and I’ve jumped on just about every woo-woo bandwagon that has rolled by. I love learning new things – especially when they’re warm and fuzzy! Laugh if you must but I’ve learned some profound lessons about myself and my life through these woo-woo ideas.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that our lives, for better or for worse, are direct reflections of the choices we make. Pretty common sense concept yet so many people dismiss it as either unhelpful or untrue. Not me. I immediately grabbed it and put it in my toolbox!
Yes, buying into this belief means owning accountability for our unhappy circumstances. But it also gives us the power to change them. And once you truly accept that belief in your heart, you’ll never be able to go back to being a victim of fate. That’s a good thing.
Being able to change our circumstances doesn’t mean we’ll never be faced with challenging or distressing situations. It simply means we have the power to choose how we react to them.
My first experience with putting this theory into practice happened in the late 90’s. I was going through a breakup of a long-term, difficult relationship. I could have easily chosen to walk away carrying the burden of victimization, feeling powerless over my circumstances. After all, he had cheated and lied for the better part of a decade. Or I could choose to accept that I let him get away with it for all those years, own my share of the blame and walk away with my head held high and my power intact.
I gladly chose the latter and moved on knowing I would never choose that situation again. And when the next bandwagon rolled around – mantras! – I took my newfound enlightenment about choices and jumped on. That’s where I Choose Joy comes from. I repeated that mantra every day…as some of you reading this will remember, fondly or otherwise. And for a few years, I lived a pretty joy-filled life.
As happens often though, I eventually fell off the wagon. Life beat me up pretty good and I chose to let it. I’m all done with that now though. That’s the true beauty in this belief. At any time, I can simply make new choices.
You can do the same.
Look at the circumstances in your life that frustrate you or make you unhappy. What choices can you make that will change them? You might not be able to remove yourself from any given situation but you can always choose a different reaction to it. And making that choice could open the door to a new path forward.
As for me, I’ll be riding out on the next bandwagon…choosing joy along the way…