The Refinement of Choosing

Artwork: "Origins", Eduardo Rodriguez Calzado, 2014 (source)

What is happening now isn’t our choosing. Whatever this world is, whatever it is that is really going on, whatever it is that happens after we die, I am very certain that we are not responsible for the choosing of others.

If there are lessons to be learned or tests to be passed in this life then we could only ever be responsible for our own choosing. If the universe has allowed our separateness to arise, allowed all this hate, conflict and loss, then we are only expected to be responsible for how we choose to respond at each moment of the unfolding. Each step chosen from our current place of limited vision and ignorance on the path informs the next step. Mistakes are the path. We sleep walk and stumble toward better versions of ourselves. The outcomes do matter (they help us grow closer to truth) but it is this refinement of choosing that happens before the outcome that matters most. How we are ever able to closer approach choosing wisely despite ultimately not knowing.

Because we are not responsible for the choosing of others, we do not need to judge ourselves when we cannot prevent others from choosing poorly for themselves. Our only responsibility to them, which can be our choosing, is whether to point the way to them and then radically accept their reaction, their choice and the consequences that flow from our choice to speak our truth. This is especially difficult since often others may choose to dismiss us or ridicule us or shame us or coerce us or abandon us. Their choice may even be to harm us, to cause us deep loss, perhaps even to cause our death. When we fear the reactions of others or the consequences that follow from speaking our truth, we may be tempted into silence. But in allowing our fear to silence our truth, we refuse our obligation to love others, embody our truth and choose to walk our true, authentic path.

Eventually, we all arrive at a high place on the path of life where we can peer back at how far we’ve come. It is eventually even possible to see and feel how this moment of looking back on the path required walking the path. How this ‘now’ of looking backward in life could not be different. This beautiful vista required making all these mistakes, learning these lessons, exactly as they occurred.

It is in these ‘now’ moments when we connect to our old-selves that we can witness our own struggle. Feel how we would not be here to witness without having gone through this struggle. It is in this witness that true, rooted self-love is born. It is the overwhelming light and love of whatever “God” is, for it is how “he” must see us. In moments of total overwhelm, loss and hopelessness, when peering into the abyss of uncertainty that causes tears to flow and body to shake, we can choose to let go, to trust that in even this terrible ‘now’ that somehow some future version of us looks back in memory, sees us, loves us: “Thank you Self for this gift. I see you. You are not alone. I am you and you are me. I love you Self.”

To remain unmovable in our dedication to our authentic self yet adaptable in our expression, this is the journey.

G.D. Lance ©2021

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