In this blog post I’m going to discuss one of the most important tools that we can use as we make our life our practice. We who choose to build a deeper, more meaningful life, who choose to work with our inner life and not just the outer life work with this tool every day. It’s an important tool. The tool is choice. Choice. It’s yours. I want you to take it.
I think back to a few years ago when my older son was about to graduate. It was the day of his graduation and I was so excited. I was proud. I was pumped. I was looking forward to sharing the day with my family. The morning of the graduation arrived and I received a call very early in the morning from my younger son. Then the day seemed to begin to spin out of control. The circumstances are not important here. They never are. They truly aren’t. The emotions that the circumstances bring, boy, that’s where the juice is. What you don’t want to do is get caught in the story.
I will tell you without telling you my story that I was angry. The emotions, the circumstances those emotions brought up. I was angry. I was hurt. Past injustices were full frontal. I was feeling deflated and hugely angry all at the same time. Did I mention I was angry? I was enraged. On top of these emotions, on top of them, was my desire to honor my graduating son. I did not want the situation and my feelings to trump the day.
What needs to be shared here was the fact that through all my ever present emotions I knew I had choice. I could choose to lose myself to the anger I was experiencing, or I could choose peace over being right. I could work toward placing my emotions in check, or I could choose to give in to what I was feeling and lose the entire day. I share this with you because we all face circumstances personally, professionally, that create deep feelings, huge real time emotions. During times where emotions run high most people don’t think that they have any choice. In their emotional state, they don’t even remember they can choose. They don’t know sometimes that they can experience their emotions without becoming them completely. The truth is, awareness takes discipline.
Over time, you can indeed choose to experience, but not become your internal point of view. It all starts with knowing you have choice.
Building this discipline into your life is one of the key ingredients in being successful in life. It’s one of the key ingredients in mastering your emotions and deepening your connection to spirit.
Daily, I guarantee you, you will have opportunities to practice choice. Small incidents, calling for appointments and getting nowhere. Working hard on a project only to hear it’s gone astray. Many situations exist and we need to know how to walk through the minefields of emotion and daily life.
Here’s the first tool. Remember you have choice. We can choose to be our emotions or we can choose peace. We can choose to use each situation to develop discipline and awareness. Or we can choose to lose ourselves to the madness. The choice is ours. The choice is yours. Just knowing there’s an option is a first step for many.
Me? I worked really hard not to lose myself to my emotions on graduation day. It was a struggle the entire time as I was continually observing, experiencing, and watching my behavior. That’s it. We observe, we experience, we watch our behavior as it happens.I was quiet a lot during my sons graduation event. In the end, I was supremely grateful that I chose not to let my emotions run wild. There were no scenes, no acting out of feelings. My son’s day and mine was an excellent one.
On top of all of that, I know that it was a huge opportunity for me to grow. Life offers us moments of hope, of inspiration, of fun. Then, it offers up pain. Pain will always come. It’s part of physical life. I learned a long time ago that pain is inevitable. Should we choose it to be, it is usually a huge opportunity for growth. What is our operative word? It’s choice. You can choose to just feel the pain or you can choose to use it. Choose wisely.
I’d love it if you’d leave some of your thoughts on the choices you’ve made on your thoughts about the concept of watching your feelings while they happen. Leave a post here for others to read and for me to read so we know are you working on this already. Share with us here and I’ll have more for you soon. We’ll talk soon.