The Choice(s) to Be and Live with Love.
You have choice.
You have choices.
You can choose.
Nope, undoing the past is not an option.
Yes, there were factors outside of your control that led you to this moment, this situation, this
And just like all the moments before and all the moments to follow, YOU have a choice.
It may not be a plethora of options--there may only be a few or one.
It may not be an abundant feeling of freedom--perhaps your power to choose is limited by compulsions and addictions to which you have an awareness.
It may not be exactly what you wanted or expected or visualized--perhaps the gap between imagination and reality feels stark.
It may have a high cost attached to it...
And you can choose.
Choose to lean in. Choose to embrace what is. Choose to make a difficult choice. Choose to be clear in communicating what you are truly seeking.
Your life is many things, and at the crux of it is YOUR CHOICE.
Anne Frank, Nelson Mandela, Victor Frankl, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King... (the list goes on)...
these were people who lived choice lives.
In the midst of circumstances they could not control, hate and oppression wielded not only by persons but by governments, in the midst of hiding and prison and torture and police brutality and racial inequality and injustice, they CHOSE.
Chose to stand up for what they believed in. Chose to craft meaning. Chose to believe in the goodness of humanity. Chose to believe in and stand for love. Chose to put themselves on the line, or rather, to make choices KNOWING that their bodies and very lives may be on the line already.
They chose to change their perspective, from one of fear to one of love.
They chose to show up with a vision for who they could be, what the world could be, and to stand for that in the midst of profound suffering and pain.
So often, my choices seem much smaller. In a life that can feel ordinary, where I can make myself unconscious to the perpetual effects I am having in the world simply by nature of being. (Thanks, It's a Wonderful Life, for the reminder). Or the imagined pressure to live a life like "that great person" can take away from the beauty of the seemingly mundane life that is right before me. As for me, I know my imagination can get in the way of my embracing the real. My resistance to "what is" can bring to the surface the shell of myself instead of being truly present.
But the choice to be and to live and to love are not a one-time intention we set, they are choices we make each moment, each day. Choosing our ways of being and how we show up in the world and what we create in the world and what others experience from us and what it all means...
We get to choose. We get to act. We get to stand for what matters.
We have more choice, more power, more voice than we often believe.
So we can choose LOVE.
So as far as it is up to you, choose.
I can choose to love my enemies until I no longer count anyone in my heart as an enemy, even those with violent ill-will. I can choose to create a world that works for all without picking up their arms of war.
I can choose to advocate for those who lack the privileges I have until we stand on equal footing.
I can choose to love my kids, love my neighbors, the stranger, love my world, love and embrace myself and extend the same compassion all around.
I can choose to practice humility, practice awareness of self that lends toward compassion and empathy, to choose to do my best and to love myself even when I fall short of my intentions, commitments, and goals. And I can choose to love
Where you go from here, what you do, how you inhabit the space, what spaces you inhabit, what relationships you have and how they work and who you serve and how you show up and so much more...
It's my choice. It's (y)our choice.
And I hope, I pray, I ache, I desire, that we