The Choice Point
“I won’t tell you that the world matters nothing, or the world’s voice, or the voice of society. They matter a good deal. They matter far too much. But there are moments when one has to choose between living one’s own life, fully, entirely, completely—or dragging out some false, shallow, degrading existence that the world in its hypocrisy demands. You have that moment now. Choose!” ― Oscar Wilde
I have come to love when people are at really tough choice points, standing at the edge of a life changing decision. As a coach and counselor, I get excited because I know that if this person takes on the challenge in front of them, then change is definitely at hand. The kind of choice point I’m talking about is when you’re going in one direction in life but you feel deep down that it’s not the direction for you. You know that if you change directions it will upset the delicate balance in your life that holds in place your comfort zone, your people pleasing, and your need for approval from others in your life. Your fear of causing any waves will have you justifying doing things that you know deep down are a)not in your best interest, b)some version of settling, c)not your true heart’s desire. It amazes me that we actually contemplate and can justify being unhappy and unfulfilled for what can sometimes be the remainder of our lives. Really? I mean, come on, what justification could possibly be good enough to give up this one life you have in the unique incarnation that is you for the meager and fleeting feeling of being comfortable, liked and approved of?
The kind of choice points I’m talking about are the really scary ones, like when your parents have paid for you to go to medical school and halfway through you are clearer than you’ve ever been that it is not for you. What you really want is to express creatively through some art form that your parents don’t see as viable in any way. There is no doubting that these are the tough things we sometimes face when we do things we think are the “right” thing to do but which we know are not in alignment for us. We try to squelch the voice that keeps popping up saying this is not the path for us. We don’t listen, and when we don’t listen there is usually a price to pay. The price is usually our freedom, our sense of wholeness, and our integrity. On the other hand, it is so fantastic when we get ourselves into these kinds of situations because they are rich with opportunity to grow and develop the very qualities we need in order to live our best lives. All of our deepest fears of not being loved or approved of rise to the surface. The last thing we want is for those that love us to see us as bad, a disappointment or ungrateful. We are terrified of others being upset with us and the possibility of their rejection will keep us right where we are, agreeing to do things that aren’t in line with our truth.
Yes, if you make the choice to do what you know is right for you there will be a lot of upset to deal with. People will be mad at you for not doing what they expected of you. People may not understand and they might even think you’re crazy. This may all actually happen, but the truth is you are not here to please anyone nor do you owe anyone anything. You are here to do what you came here uniquely to do and giving up any part of yourself in order to fit into or conform to someone else’s ideal or to make someone else happy is not in alignment with your soul’s purpose. You came here to live a fully expressed version of life that could only be lived by you. How can you do that and give expression to what was placed in your heart when you decide that giving up your dreams or cutting off parts of yourself is the prudent thing to do? It isn’t, because sooner or later the misery you feel will be too much to handle and then you’ll be right back at the same choice point again. You might do your best to never deal with it and hope it goes away but it won’t. You can’t drink it away, smoke it away, shop it away, eat it away, exercise it away, or use any other form of addictive numbing to get rid of the dull ache that will live in your heart.
Sorry to make it sound so dire, but I believe that it is. Don’t sleepwalk through your life and live a hollow existence because you think it will make others around you happy. This is an illusion. It will never make them happy. Your loved ones always want to see you happy, so even if they are upset initially, they will eventually be glad you followed your heart. When they see you in full bloom, fully expressed and fulfilling your purpose they will also be happy. And if they aren’t, you probably won’t care anyway!
Please wake up and face your fears! They are never as bad as you think they are. Other people in our lives have a fabulous capacity for resiliency and getting over things, so when you make a choice that upsets the balance rest assured that balance will eventually be restored. What’s important is that you make the choice and take the action that sits in your heart as truth for you. This is how we wake up and how we wake those around us up…by living aligned with our hearts.