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Choice And Perception

It seems that, as of late, I have been surrounded by people who believe that life has done them in. I suppose that I can understand where they are coming from. I, at one time, believed that I had no choice but to wait around for God, in all of his wisdom, to throw me something a little better. I enjoyed wallowing in my own feces and I would do my best to bring everyone down with me. One day I looked around and woke up. I realized that I did, after all, have a great deal of choices.

I'm not exactly sure when I realized that I was a child of free will. It might have been when I was spending my own money, quite unwisely, on college. I didn't belong there so I quit. It might have been when, despite all of my friends urging me to, I made the decision not to smoke. Or maybe it was, despite all my friends urging me not to, I used pot. Free will and the ability for change were acknowledged.

My grandmother moved into an assisted living facility about a year ago. She was thrilled, at the time, with the decision. She was an amazingly independent woman who decided that she was going to give the responsibilities in her life to someone else. As the months moved on, her depression became palpable. I found it difficult to be in her presence. The woman I knew was gone. I tried my best to help her recapture what was missing. When I presented her with the thought that she did have some choices, it was as if her ears and mind closed in one big swoop and she shut me out. She'd made her decision and she would live with it. She believes that she has no choices.

Believing you have no choices is a cop-out. Even if the choice is as simple as pepper or no pepper on your potato, it is none-the-less a choice. The choices that you are ignoring are likely to be the ones that frighten you the most. I found a way to have compassion for my grandmother. Her abrupt lifestyle change was almost beyond her ability to cope. I understand that she is terribly frightened of having to go thru anything like it again. My zero tolerance for wallowing still makes it difficult for me to be near her. As far as I see it, she could choose to perceive her situation in an entirely different fashion. Choices abound when perception is changed.

Perception can make a great deal of difference. My grandmother turned ninety just after she moved into her new home. In the past, she had made many comments about hoping never to live to be so old. She perceived ninety as being old, as most people would, but why was there such a difference between the upper eighties and ninety? Her change in behavior was like night and day. If, instead, she believed that turning 100 was the end she didn't want to reach, would she still be functioning like she did before? Why choose to believe everything we are told? My grandma was taught to believe that being ninety is the same as being old. She now must act as she perceives old people to act, helpless and ready to go when the mighty master calls them. A slight change in perception and she won't start failing until she turns ninety-nine or a hundred and nine. A slight change in how we choose to perceive a situation and we all might be living healthier, happier, and longer lives.

In every applicable situation, check out all the choices. Never believe that you have none. Question the "facts" that you have been fed during your life. Try to see a situation from all angles. You have been given the gift of free will and have everything required to make whatever changes you desire. If you don’t like it, change it!




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