You are the actions you have taken in the past and you form your future by the actions you take now. I read this somewhere recently and the words stuck with me (though sadly, not the publication or author of the words).
Maybe a more direct way of saying the same thing is this: we are a product of our choices. To put it plainly, our current state of happiness or unhappiness, rest or unrest, health, love and life are mostly a reflection of our past choices.
Think back on some of your life choices.
Are you unhappy in your job? What choice led you to that company, to that job, to that level of discontent? Put on your trench coat, do some detective work and follow the clues backward in time.
Is your child mouthy and disrespectful to you? What discipline choices did you make or not make in the past that enabled the behavior in the present? Are you unhappy in your relationship? Do you remember choosing that “bad boy,”or choosing to look the other way when you didn’t want to deal with truth? Finding yourself a little short at the end of the month while your closet is filled with the latest sale items from Macy’s? Are you unhappy with your weight? But do you remember indulging in chocolate pie and mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner?
No judging here. I’ve been there and done that–all of it. So I know “past” choices can affect your current circumstances. Maybe future ones, too.
Now that doesn’t mean that Fate doesn’t play a role. Sometimes I think she likes to stir things up, to orchestrate events where we must make choices to grow and learn.
Sometimes that car accident really wasn’t your fault or that cancer disease came from lineage. Maybe you were born into poverty and that cycle is hard to break. Sometimes, I think, Fate has placed us in families, countries, circumstances that are less than optimal, if not downright unfair. The only choice there is how we handle being bitch slapped by Fate.
It is not always easy.
But I find it empowering to be reminded that we are choosers, not victims or pawns, in life. We have the power to make better choices if we are unhappy with our lot.
If we’ve made less than great choices in the past that are reflected in our life right now, we don’t have to beat ourselves up. Just make another choice.
Kick that bad boy to the curb, cut back on those carbs, say no, not yes, to the dress. These choices might find you in the future with a prince of a guy and a healthier body and bank account.
Just remember, it’s your choice.
(If you’re looking for more thoughts on integrity, compassion and grace, check out my book, Tao Flashes, at Amazon.)