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Choose Joy

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

A fundamental freedom all individuals possess is how they decide to see any given situation.


The way you view life’s events is ultimately your choice.


You are free to choose. This is your greatest gift. You are always free to choose. You are not a product of your past or your genes; you are not a product of how other people see you or treat you. You are self determining through your choices.


Between stimulus and response there is space.

In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response.

In those choices lie our growth and our happiness.

Viktor Frankl


We all get separated from our True Self and get lost in sub-personalities and ego fixations—our False Self—and that’s when we make poor and destructive choices. That’s when we separate ourselves from others. We judge, condemn, resent, envy, or get angry at another because that is how our ego thrives. Or, we turn on ourselves with those very thoughts and emotions, causing self-loathing, depression, anxiety.


Choose Joy instead.


You can awaken to what is and stop insisting on your own version of life—a version filled with anxiety, fear, envy, anger, loneliness, resentment.


No one can make you feel angry, or disrespected, or belittled, or unimportant. Those are the stories you tell yourself when people say or do things or things happen in your life. If you take a step back, if you put space between stimulus (a spoken word, a gesture, an event) and your response, you give yourself time to reframe your thoughts and emotions from an objective place, instead of from your usual story.


It is difficult to always stay aware of and react from your True Self—to always put that space between stimulus and response and to choose freedom and joy. The more you practice, the less time you will spend in the dark recesses of your psyche and the more time you will spend in freedom and joy.


Like the poem Autobiography In Five Short Chapters (below), I too find myself occasionally in dark holes, but also on clear streets where I am free from the false stories of my life. The more I practice, the more I live in chapter 5.


Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

1.

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk

I fall in.

I am lost ... I am helpless.

It isn't my fault.

It takes me forever to find a way out.

2.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don't see it.

I fall in again.

I can't believe I am in the same place

but, it isn't my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

3.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in ... it's a habit.

my eyes are open

I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

4.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

5.

I walk down another street.


By Portia Nelson


As you are liberated from your fears and false stories, and aligned more with your True Self, your presence automatically liberates others. As you let your vibrant light shine and choose joy, you unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same. Give people as many reasons as possible to love you.






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