“I choose my choice!”
~ Charlotte York
Yes, I had to throw in an erratic Sex and the City quote because, hey, SATC will always be life but also because screaming “I choose my choice!” is not only the topic of this piece, but also the manner in which Charlotte defends herself is both empowering and cringe-worthy. I’ve never been known to turn away from a good clashing dichotomy.
Somewhere along the line we forgot that we get to choose. Our lives, our friends, who comes in and out, who we romance, who we laugh with, what we do for a living, how we love, how we exercise (or not), eat and cry. I know it feels like everyone is watching, and judging and they could be, but we really do have ultimate power over our choices.
Upon a recent reflection with a friend, I was reminded that our most limit-shattering power is in our completely self-possessed ability to choose our how we feel. Yes, choosing our emotions is actually a thing. In a world where people are consistently blaming others for the way they feel, it is an electric realization that how we feel is solely ours. Sure, emotional intelligence is huge, and we should all strive to reach this level of maturity; however, I briefly neglected all the other choices we have. Some are directly related to the profound feeling of being emotionally satisfied, but some are far less dramatic.
This is a public service announcement to remind you that it is our job to set our lives up the way we want. Sure, there are a few things that are out of our direct control but for the most part, this is our show. Recently while sitting with my reflections, I realized that a large part of my life has been spent trying to carry someone else’ struggles, sufferings or desires. Things that were not even close to being mine. This was often occurring without my full understanding or consent. Like so many things, once I was able to pinpoint the true cause of anxiety in relation to my decision making, I realized the extent of it and could also begin to make sure my choices are truly mine.
The truth is that we are in no way responsible for anyone else idea of who we should be or what we should accept. This becomes particularly difficult in intimate relationships because the modern relationship culture will have us believe that relationships are compromises and they take bargaining on each behalf. Let me be clear, no healthy relationship will ever require us to bargain away our joys, passionate held beliefs or innermost desires. If we find ourselves in a space where we feel as though we have to hide or lie about our choices, this is a very clear sign that something is broken. I would agree that in order to successfully co-exist we must allow for some degree of compromise, but where exactly does the line emerge? How much will it cost?
It must feel good to us. Don’t betray yourself in order to serve the ideas or expectations of another. A large part of our self-care is living in the space that you’ve worked to create for yourself. It is our duty to enjoy our lives, while feeling very proud of the choices that are presented to us, as well as our ability to choose the one that is most aligned with our personal and autonomous goals. It is our job to make sure that our choices are reflective of our dreams and never our fears. Move forward and prosper in your beautiful ability to choose your choice. We always have a choice, even when on the surface it seems that we don’t.