The Power of Choice

Do you believe that you have a choice?

Not everyone does believe this. They maintain that they are limited and although they may at times have a choice, they don’t always. They believe that there are defined limits that cannot be exceeded.

I wanted to know where I stood on this question, so I began exploring this idea of choice. I wondered how far I might be able to go with my ability to make choices.

Could I for instance, decide in advance, how something could or would turn out?

One thing I discovered early in this process was that if internal fears were present, I felt very limited. I found that fear very effectively blocked my way forward. It didn’t matter which fear was present, they all seemed to have the same effect.

I also encountered an interesting dimension to fear. It has an amazing ability to alter reason. Despite the presence of facts, fear has the uncanny ability to sidestep them and create projected outcomes, some of which don’t even make sense, but appear very believable.

I wondered how do I, how does anyone move beyond this, once fear is present?

A voice appears inside me offering an answer. As usual, it is Lia’s voice (an ethereal feminine voice of god that comes to me whenever I have questions I’d like answered).

She offers this simple solution, “You just decide. That’s what you are always doing. You make a choice and then take action steps.”

Sounds easy enough. But then it occurs to me that there are many different kinds of choices, and they feel different to me, making me wonder if her solution applies across the board.

There are subconscious choices (my default choices), conscious choices (that I make either proactively or reactively), spontaneous choices (made immediately in the moment) and, at least for me, spiritual blueprint choices (ones I just ‘know’ are a part of my path).

Lia reacts saying, “As you explore the world of choices, it is helpful to keep in mind that nothing happens TO you. You are not the victim in any experience. All things that happen, happen THROUGH you. Everything is a part of your spiritual blueprint (those events you came to earth to experience), and each serves you, either directly (moving you forward) or indirectly (pointing your way forward by sharing that they are not the way).”

That statement was going to take me a minute to absorb.

I ended up telling Lia that I could use some additional clarification, so she went on to say, “There is a wealth of possible choices, and they exist inside your mind. Some of these you view as threats. You extrapolate these threats (fears) and create ideas in your mind which you ‘believe’ are true, but they are just ideas (thoughts), and you have the choice whether to believe them or not. No thought has any true independent power. They receive their power only if you choose to believe them. Without this power they are empty.”

This all made sense to me, especially as I brought to mind some of the idiotic fears I’ve created over the years.

Her wisdom continued, “Rather than focus on your thoughts created by your fears, it will benefit you richly to realize that you have other choices you can make, ones that do serve you.”

She went on to encourage me to find a way of shifting.

Here’s what I came up with. “I release any choice I do not wish to experience and embrace (choose) those I do wish to experience. I acknowledge my perfect freedom to do this now and at all times.”

Letting go of my fear thoughts allows me to shift and choose thoughts that directly serve me, ones that bring love and joy into my life. It’s a constant kind of thing, but I now feel equipped to make good choices and experience life in a positive way.

Silence

When was the last time you found silence?

After a few minutes thought, I couldn’t remember my last time. You see, I believe silence is far more than the absence of noise. It is deeper and more profound. It is a gift beyond measure.

I can only hear silence if I give myself a chance to listen, to pause for my heart and my ears to be still. I need a space inside me to open for quiet, and for where everything seems to be at peace.

I wonder sometimes, do I understand silence?

Our world is so noisy with an incredible array of sources; cars, trucks, buses, planes, people talking, shouting, singing, birds, insects, wind and water, lawn mowers, clocks, chimes…the list is so long. And even if these all fall away, there is the sound of my own heart beating.

Inside me, I feel a strong need for silence. There is an indescribable value in it, beyond what I can explain with words. Perhaps you sense this too.

I wonder, how long could I sit and appreciate silence before it might become too much for me? I ask myself, what does ‘too much’ even mean? Do I need some form of noise in my life at all times?

When our children were young, they could watch TV, do their homework, and carry on a conversation, all at the same time. It seemed natural for them. Easy. I realized quickly I could never do that. It’s too much noise for me. I need breaks between periods of noise. I need a place to get away.

I wonder about this, and something comes to me.

It’s hard to explain, but I want the silence of ‘home’, which is the sound of heaven.

Silence, but not silent.

You may be asking, what does that mean, thinking that it makes no sense.

For me, it does.

Silent is the act of not speaking, while silence is a state of being, a place of peace, the essence of bliss, and yes, the sound of home, heaven.

There is movement, energy and love radiating in the silence.

This may sound appealing to you, and you may want to know how this kind of silence can be found.

The simplest answer I know is, it’s found inside of you.

My last post was about feeling loved. In it I shared that I have an intimate relationship with aspects of (god). That I invite (god) in and I ask (god) to be present and so (god) comes and sits with me, keeping me company, listening deeply to me, hearing me in a way unlike any other relationship.

It is here I find silence, in between our thoughts. It is here that bliss baths me.

It is here for all who choose it, no matter what name you choose to use for (god).

I’m reminded of the saying, ‘silence is golden’. It’s meaning for me does not come from the absence of noise in our busy world, but rather from the bliss of heaven, the magnificent place of peace that rests within each of us.

If you are searching for silence, consider going inside and asking for (god’s) presence to lead the way back to heaven.

Choosing Your Memories

If someone asked you to share one of your memories, what would you choose to tell them?

Now imagine the same person asked you to share five or ten or fifty, how many of them would be ‘good’ memories?

If you were given a day or two to conjure up as many memories as you possibly could, how long would it take before you mentioned a ‘bad’ memory?

It fascinates me to consider what my answers to these questions would be. It feels like some sort of subtle test, a way to measure my satisfaction with my life.

I had an occasion recently to investigate this idea up close and personal. As my mom’s power of attorney, it was up to me to sign all the mortgage closing documents on her recent house sale.

I’d promised myself that I would walk through the house before the closing. I wanted a chance to capture the living memories I felt were stored there. I wanted to sweep them up and bring them with me. To store them somewhere safe inside me so that I could hold them, perhaps forever.

As I walked in the front door, the floodgates opened. I can’t recall the very first time I entered the home I grew up in and I that I have been a part of for over sixty years, but so many things stood there in front of me.

The house has so many interesting features and every inch of space is utilized. There is a shelf inset into the wall in the foyer. One of the shelves used to hold a small wooden ship I carved for my father. It had toothpick masts and thread rigging and it took me a long time to build. It’s not there anymore. I have no idea where it went.

I walked into the living room. A place where so many joyous family gatherings were held. A place where a mounted deer head rested above the fireplace. I’d bought it at a garage sale for 25 cents. I thought it was a great deal. I’m willing to bet the seller and his wife thought they’d made a profit. The deer head is gone now. I have no idea where it went.

On into the dining room, where all our family dinners happened. My mom was an excellent cook and I remembered many of the meals we ate there. If I stretched a bit, I could almost taste them. It became my mom’s reluctant bedroom, when it wasn’t safe for her to go up and down the stairs any longer.

Going from room to room brought more and more sweet memories. Words, sounds, feelings. The comings and goings of six decades. All the games, conversations, fears, hopes, and dreams. All the wonderful cookies after school, fresh out of my mom’s oven. The mad crazy ping pong games with my father in the basement, which was too short for our smashing forehands. All the imaginative games with my sister, one of which was pretending to be radio disc jockeys under the dining room table. Don’t ask me why that was our station headquarters. It just was.

Upstairs I walked down the hall to my bedroom. I could still see it as it was when I was a child, the placement of my desk and chair and bed, the Hopi Indian wall hanging, even the closet that had a sort of secret compartment where I stored my prized possessions.

My memory lane is long. The savoring, both touching and sweet.

Perhaps you’ve lived and lost some parts of you, a house, a family member, friend, favored pet or a lessening of your skills and senses. It happens.

What I think matters most to me is what I do with my memories.

Do I let the ‘bad’ ones overtake me, bringing me down and crushing me into silence and grief?

Or do I sift through them until all that are left are the golden, glowing, shiny memories. The ones I wish to keep and hold near to me.

The beautiful thing is, we each get to choose.

What’s Worth Keeping

I wondered recently what I would keep if I only had a few minutes to save some of the things I own. I’m not sure where the thought came from, but it made me sad and a bit anxious. What would happen to all my other treasurers, the ones I didn’t or couldn’t keep?

The thought initially created suffering inside me. Why had this popped into my mind?

It was fleeting at first and hard to capture, but then a second thought came forward. I wondered which of my emotional reactions in life were worth keeping.

Is it worth remembering each hurt, disappointment, and failure? How about retaining every instance of anger, worry or resentment? Are any of these worth keeping?

And if I decided to hang on to them what would happen to me, to my inner being? What would their impact be on me? Would they somehow serve me, even if they felt heavy and weighed me down?

I needed to spend some time with these questions to see what would happen.

I wonder how they strike you. Are you holding on to emotions or thoughts that are truly worth keeping?

I came to a one basic conclusion I’d like to share with you.

I realized that each thought and emotion helped shape me and that it was entirely up to me to decide which to focus on and keep in my consciousness.

Those I chose to retain could help guide me. They could assist me with choosing new directions. Even if I initially felt they were part of negative experiences, I could learn from them and discover the beneficial aspects that could improve my life.

I decided to kick back for a little while and give myself some open space to consider. I sat back and allowed an example to come into the light.

The first to appear was this.

I’ve had a really bad cough for over four weeks now, which has made sleeping very difficult. It’s the only symptom I have. To be sure I was okay, early in the process I decided to take a COVID test. Gratefully, it was negative. However, dealing with the cough had become so challenging that I resorted to taking a Tylenol PM before bedtime.

It was magical. I began to have the best sleep I’ve had in years, even considering a few coughing fits during the night. Instead of waking up at 5:00 or 5:30am, I was sleeping until 7:30 or 8:00am and feeling well rested. I know it’s medically unwise to take the Tylenol PM for long, so I’ve switched to Melatonin, which many others I know swear by.

So, what’s my point in centering on this example?

It’s this. All my attention could be focused on the difficult physical challenges I’ve been having and how life can feel very unfair. I could dwell on ‘why me’ or ‘why is this lasting so long’? And when thinking about this experience, the parts I would keep would be very negative. They might even influence the rest of my life every time I felt a cold coming on or coughed for any reason.

But a certain wisdom inside me recognized that rather than choosing the negative outlook, I could shift and express divine gratitude that I might encounter deep blissful sleep for the rest of my life by taking something to help me. I could recognize that without this apparent negative coughing experience I would never have known there was help for me. So, I decided that’s what was worth keeping.

Other experiences began to take shape, and each offered me the same opportunity. I could choose to focus on the negative aspects or find the valuable learnings within each experience, the ones that made them worth keeping.

Regardless of what we experience in life we all have the choice what to keep with us. I am very grateful for this and hope you find ways to choose wisely.