Choice is what separates man from animal instincts. Instincts are necessary for survival and choice is the decision to survive or take action or non action.
Another distinction between the animal kingdom and man is the space in time between thought and action. The length of time is determined by your understanding. It determines your choice.
Think about it? When I was drinking alcohol daily, my understanding was that it was not harming me physically. I felt I was in control of my decision making, and that my problems and feelings were disguised under the euphoria of alcohol.
Understanding and Will are one action or activity. What I understand life to be, I am at that moment willing that into my reality.
Another perspective is what I understand determines what I can or will do. I have discovered that my choice of words determines what direction my attitude is focused on. This is why questions are a man made method to focus the mind. I am consistently asking and answering questions in my mind. Prayer is a form of asking or focusing attention in the mind to bring about order in the mind.
I believed for a long time that I could pray for things and that they would manifest themselves without any activity on my behalf. Checks would come in. They won’t! I have come to a place in my evolvement to understand, that if I can pay attention to what thoughts are flowing in my mind, watch them, and question them, I can make wiser and better choices.
In this ordered universe there is a cause for every effect. My thinking, or inspiration is the cause of what effect I will experience in my reality.
Now, in the drunken state, my ability to pay attention to my thoughts or just let them flow wildly limits my ability to control the causes. A spider given a droplet of alcohol begins to spin different sorts of webs. My ego and the shifting patterns of thought are carried away and I have lost or minimized my ability of making “right” choices.
Sober living takes the drinking away, but you still must have soundness of mind and understanding to make an informed choice.
Choice in words of questions, instantly pinpoints my focus and pivots my attitude into a different direction.
Today, I woke up in a gray mood. The clouds were outside, a little rain was falling, and the house seemed dim. My emotions or instincts were to be somber and subdued. I entered the shower and began to think of the things “I had to do.” In an instant, I asked myself, Martin, you don’t have to do anything.
My focus redirected to a question: “What do I get to experience today?” The emotion of gratitude was awakened. I ran with that stream of thought of gratitude and began rattling off an enormous list in my mind of what I am grateful for. My feelings were transformed.
The shower was longer than normal but it taught me or really reminded me of this truth. When I perform the daily ritual of gratitude and allow it to flow from within, my mood improves. My attitude shifted in a new direction that brought sunshine in my outlook.
I now always do a gratitude list in the shower. This is a ritual that can be done everyday and only requires a few minutes.
I now know that “I bring my weather with me.” It is a choice. I surrendered to my suffering and my outlook has never been the same. I changed my choice. My understanding shifted or changed because I was willing to explore a new question or better word. I can do this.
When I am willing, open-minded, and honest about my feelings, while being aware of my thoughts, my attitude is affected. So, this can be done wherever you are on the planet. We were given instincts and the ability to choose our life. Be thankful for this gift and honor it.
Circumstances do not have to make you; your ability to choose a response that is useful for you and benefits others, is a choice only you can make.
Say, Thank you more! To the Creator, yourself, and others. Your life will take on a whole new meaning.