When my alarm clock rudely wakes me up in the morning and I’m tired and don’t want to get out of bed—but the alarm clock won’t stop going off every five minutes until I do—it feels like I have no choice but to go to work. I have to.
But in reality, nobody is holding a gun to my head, it’s not a life or death situation, I don’t have to go to work. I can call in sick, use some PTO, or quit my job all together and never look back if I want. But I make the choice to go to work, even though, in the moment, it doesn’t feel like a choice—because why would I choose to do something I don’t want to do? That seems silly, but we do it all the time. And all these choices we make, whether we realizing we’re making them or not, make up the life we live. (So if you don’t like your life, it’s time to take a look at your choices.)
Passive choices cause life to pass us by, and without us taking responsibility for creating the life we want to live, it creates itself. Take my work situation for example: I don’t wake up every morning and ask myself, am I going to go to work today? I know I am. The choice is sub-conscience and passive, so much so that I don’t even realize I’m making it. So much so, that it feels like it is made for me and I have no control over it. But that’s not the truth.
If I dig a little deeper and ask myself why I am making the choice to go to work, the first answer that comes to mind is simple: to make money so I can pay my bills and hopefully have some cash left over to do or buy the things I want. In essence, I work to make money, and I make money so I can afford basic necessities, like a place to live. (I know none of us feel like the purpose of life is to simply go to work to pay bills and then die, and I agree. But the reality is a lot of us live this way even though we are against it, so it’s a good idea to try to figure out and understand why.)
This brings me to the apartment I choose to rent in the city I choose to live. I recognize this as a more active choice—there was a defining moment when I signed my lease that I made the decision to pay a specific amount each month to live where I live. It was a clear choice, and now, because of that choice, I go to work every morning, not because I have to but because I made a choice and now I am responsible for paying for that choice (literally).
I’m going to stop there, as to not take you down the path of all the choices Lydia has made over her lifetime that have gotten her to where she is today. What I hope is this opened your eyes to the fact that your life is made up of choices and you experience certain things because of those choices. While it may feel like it, you actually don’t have to, you choose to, and your choices, passive or active, are building the life you live.
Your choices are building the life you live.
This realization makes our life our responsibility. God gave us free will—the ability to make our own choices—and while He is actively involved, He also gives us the freedom to choose. And if you chose something, then you have the power to change it. And if you chose something and can change it and choose not to, then there is nobody else to logically hold accountable but yourself.
So if you find yourself not liking the life you’re living, the people who are in it, the things you do, or the responsibilities that take your money, it’s time to make different choices. Don’t let your past hold you back and convince you that you aren’t worth it. Don’t let your diagnosis hold you back and tell you can’t do it. Don’t let your fear hold you back and keep you from being a dreamer and a doer. If you want to experience something different, the choice is yours. So, what are you going to do about it? (I ask myself…)
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