To further dive into a concept that I introduced earlier, everything is a choice. As a whole, we seem to have accepted this idea that we lack control over much of our lives and circumstances.
“I said those hurtful things because you made me angry.”
“I work a job that I hate because I have bills to pay.”
“I smoke cigarettes because I am addicted.”
I could go on forever. The point is, everything that we say, feel, think, or do, we follow-up with a ‘because’. Whether consciously or subconsciously, there is always a ‘because’. The ‘because’ is a good thing, in and of itself. If it weren’t for the ‘because’ we would be doing things with zero rhyme or reason. Ultimately, inner chaos would ensue. We would feel a complete and total lack of control. Hmm… sounding familiar? Like when we “uncontrollably” lash out those hurtful words ‘because we’re angry.’
Let’s take a look at that statement for a second; “I said those hurtful things because you made me angry.” Let’s examine the validity of this statement. First, no one can truly “make you” anything. They cannot make you feel, do, say, think, or act in any way. Sure, they may have said or done something truly hurtful, absolutely devilish of them, but you are the one that is choosing to allow it to anger you. You are the one allowing that anger to consume you. Ultimately, you are the one choosing the action that results from that consumption of anger.
Therefore, the dead honest truthful statement would be, “I said those hurtful things, because I chose to.”
Take a peek at another example.
“I smoke cigarettes because I am addicted.” Now, what is about to follow applies thoroughly to every single form of addiction that exists. At some point in your life, you were, in fact, not addicted. Yet you smoked, or drank, or snorted, shot up, gambled, whatever your poison happens to be. That first time was a choice. Correct? Correct. Since that moment, every time that you light up, or whatever, you are choosing to continue to feed that addiction. There’s another choice on the table that you might be less inclined to acknowledge. You also have the option to not light that cigarette. To not take that drink, hit, whatever… You can choose to starve the addiction.
Therefore, the truthful statement would be, “I smoke cigarettes, because I chose to.”
(Important interruption here guys; if you decide to starve a particular addiction. First, super awesome job! I am proud of you!! Second, some withdrawals can be serious and life-threatening. Please seek out help with detox and support. Here’s a number to the national drug helpline to get you started: 1-844-289-0879)
Next example; “I work a job that I hate because I have bills to pay.” Because you can’t possibly get a job that you love, that you are passionate about, that makes you feel alive, and that also pay your bills. Sounds like fear talking there… It may take some tweaking, some experimenting, even some soul searching, but rest assured that you absolutely can find a job that you both love and that pays your bills.
Speaking of bills, that brings about another issue with that whole “because I have bills to pay.” There’s a funny thing about the word ‘have’. In reality, 99% of the time, you are only fooling yourself with the use of the word ‘have’. I have to go to work. I have to pay the bills.
No, you don’t. You don’t actually have to do anything. It is a choice.
I knew of a man once who lived for over 40 years in a makeshift tent in the middle of some long-ago forgotten woods. He had no job. He paid no bills. He lived contently, in his little slab of shelter among the trees. While this isn’t necessarily a choice that I am likely to make for myself, it is, ultimately, a choice that I have available to make. You do not have to work. You do not have to pay bills. You chose to do these things. Likely because, like me, you prefer the lifestyle that doing these things provides.
At the end of the day, no matter how you twist it, the truthful statement would be, “I work a job that I hate, because I chose to.”
Take a moment. Yes, right here. Right now. I’ll wait…. Reflect on some of your own ‘because’ examples:
“I… blankity blank blank… because… blankity blankity blank.”
Now, dissect your statements. Tear them apart. Rip them to shreds. Whatever you need to do in order to honestly evaluate your ‘because(s)’.
You will quickly discover that in virtually every single example that you can fathom, the most basic, core reason comes down to “because you chose to”.
Nearly everything, no matter how you twist it, is ultimately a choice that we make.
Now that we know that we hold within ourselves this insanely awesome power of choice, how do we start making “the right” choices?
Find out next week on Analyzing Our Why’s.