The intentions we set and the choices we make are what propels us towards our dreams. Life will throw many different situations at us, but ultimately we are in control of how these situations affect us when we view the big picture of our own path.
I’m a very spiritual person, but I’ve never believed in strict destiny. I don’t think we choose pain and suffering as a part of our life. These horrible experiences are the products of other’s ill-intended choices and not, in any way, a decision we made. When it comes to destiny, I think we all have the potential to follow a path perfectly aligned with our purpose in the world, but that we team up with the Universe in creating this path.
After all, if we followed a completely set path, we would be trapped and none of our decisions would really matter—they’d already be predetermined. And, honestly, this is incredibly disempowering. It would mean that, no matter the choices we make, we cannot control our life in any way. Yet, we make thousands of independent choices each day, so there is no real way our choices are insignificant! If they were, phrases like “change your mind, change your life” wouldn’t exist or be effective in any way.
Instead of a set destiny, I believe in our power to co-create with the world, Universe, God, or whomever we view as the most empowered force in our life. Co-creation is an absolutely beautiful thing, because we can retain our free will and ability to choose all while dancing alongside the situations life throws us. How we perform this dance determines our destiny.
We are, in Truth, Masters of Our Own Fate
Does this idea shock you a little? Maybe you’re nodding your head in passionate agreement, or maybe you’re feeling a sudden and uncomfortable weight of responsibility. In either case, keep reading—things are about to get deep, important, and life changing.
If you’re feeling a weight while reading this, know it isn’t always easy to admit how much control we have over our choices. This happens for two reasons: one, we are then responsible for all of our actions, and two, we realize we cannot control the actions of others. Although we have to admit these things, we gain something impactful too—the ability to fully control ourselves. When we’re looking at the path towards our dreams, this means we can actually start walking. We don’t need anyone to carry us anymore.
When we think about life, we often think about what happens to us rather than how we live life itself. We turn this on its head when we focus on the power of choice. Instead of being ruled by situations and then having to figure it out internally, we can begin to build our inner world in a way that helps us more easily navigate the situations around us. This all happens by making a conscious decision of how we want our experiences to either fuel or take away from our dreams.
Related blog: We Are Accountable For Our Own Joy
Immediate Reactions and Choice are Different
Now I want to mention something super important and something rarely talked about in discussions about choice and self-empowerment. It is not always a choice to react to specific situations. It is not always our choice to end up in specific situations. Choice and self-empowerment are how we respond to these uncontrolled events, including our instantaneous reactions.
Developing PTSD after trauma, for instance, is not a choice. Having anxiety in social settings is not a choice. Just because something happens within us and may appear to others as us making a choice does not mean it really is. Rather, anxiety is a situation and how we react to our mental illness is where choice comes in. I could choose to ignore anxiety and not to anything to work on it or I could choose to address it. How and when we make these choices depends on other situations (finances, resources, home life, etc.).
Even if you are living without a mental illness, I bet you still experience immediate reactivity at times. You may snap at someone when you’re having a bad day or panic in a financial crisis. These are all natural! Over time, with the power of choice, you can limit the intensity of your reactions. In the future, you may end up breathing through a financial crisis, rather than panicking. All it takes is some practice and the will to transform our natural reactions.
Choice Allows Us to Give Hardship a Purpose
When we decide what to do with the situations life hands us, we are giving our experiences a purpose. This is one of the most beautiful things about choice. In my own life, I’ve chosen to turn disability, memories of past abuse, and mental illness into a mission of helping others. None of this has erased the pain or miraculously healed me, but that wasn’t the point of my choice. Before I dedicated myself towards this path, all my past and present gave me was pain. Now, it is no longer solely hurting me, it is also helping to fuel my dreams. It is no longer just negative, I have chosen to give it a positive purpose.
Even something as grave as suffering can have a purpose when we choose to give it one. Purpose is not something predetermined, but rather a decision we make when we are faced with hardship.
Paying attention to the power of your choice will free you. You will feel empowered and able to reach the dreams you have. When you fuel your decisions with intention you will become unstoppable, because you will constantly be choosing a new path whenever life throws you an obstacle. When we hit these bumps in the road, we can also choose acceptance or recognize that maybe we need to change directions entirely. It’s important to remember that acceptance, surrender, and waiting for another time are valid choices too. We can choose when and how to react and when to accept and flow.
Change your mind and you change your life. When we empower ourselves with choice, we set the course towards our dreams.
Now, I’d absolutely love to hear from you in the comments:
What is a difficult situation you have and what purpose can you now give it?
What choices are you going to make about this situation?
If you want to take the power of your choice one step further, join me for a free coaching call right here. We’ll talk about the inner beliefs limiting your choices, dreams, and binding you to suffering, then we’ll free you!