Left or right?
Up or down?
Morning or night?
Work or fun?
It’s all a matter of choice. Or is it?
More often than not, we are faced, all day long with choices. Some of them are conscious: “should I order dessert or not?”, others… not so much.
My favorite example of a choice we’re free to make, although it doesn’t always feel like that is forgiveness.
I want to be big and let goAlanis Morissette, This Grudge
Of this grudge that’s grown old
All this time I’ve not known
How to rest this bygone
I want to be soft and resolved
Clean of slate and released
I want to forgive for the both of us
Holding a grudge is often perceived as something that happens TO us. We have been deceived. Someone did something that hurt us. We’re victims. We can’t control the pain or the anger, we’re feeling trapped and powerless.
Many years ago, I was trapped in a job that I no longer enjoyed, surrounded by people that I no longer liked working alongside, who seemed to no longer respect me. Every time someone was making a remark about something I did, I was taking it personally. I was hurting. I was miserable. I felt like I had no choice.
I am very grateful that life made a choice for me back then, because without that I might still be in this job, trying to figure out how to please people around me and feeling terrible every time I missed the mark.
Someone told me: “You have a choice. You could leave.” But I didn’t see that choice and proceeded to enumerate all the reasons why it wasn’t even remotely an option. Little did I know that I would have to leave the job anyway not much longer after that conversation… and all hell didn’t break loose. I survived. I even thrived.
I was the only person blocking my ability to make a choice.
Grudges are very similar. There’s only one person blocking you from making the choice of forgiving and moving on. And that person is YOU.
Today, I have made a commitment to consider everything as the choice that I have. Worrying or not worrying about something: I choose. Being angry or not being angry at someone: I choose. Being sad or not letting sadness take over: I choose.
Sometimes I choose anger, worry or sadness. I am human. I am allowed to feel these emotions. But when it’s intentional, then, it’s much easier to decide that I’m done when the time comes to move on.
Work or Fun: what sort of choice is that?
There’s only one choice that I refuse to make: work or fun. Actually, here again, I exert my power to choose… not to choose.
While society tells me that I should work five days a week to earn enough money so that I can have fun on weekends. I choose to see things differently.
A long time ago, I heard a story about a Corsican fisherman (you can find it on Paul Coelho’s blog, although the fisherman is Brazilian there). In a nutshell, the businessman wants to help the fisherman develop and make money so that when he retires he can do what he really likes: go out fishing and take things easy in life.
“Isn’t that what I am doing now?” asks the fisherman.
Would you do what you’re doing right now for the rest of your life and be content with it? Think about it. What would you CHOOSE to do with your days if you had the choice?
Oh wait… You actually have.
Photo by Burst