In truth life is a series of choices. If we are wise and if we are living consciously then we will make our choices with precision. If we fail to make our choices consciously then our unconscious mind with its fears and insecurities and hidden drivers will make our choices for us.
Most of our unconscious choices will be made to avoid the things we fear and don’t want to experience. Avoiding what we fear is hardly constructive! In fact, we often manifest the things we fear and are trying to avoid. When we do things out of fear, we are not being creative, we are being defensive. This is very energy expensive and it slowly shuts us down, limiting our lives and eliminating more and more opportunities. Along with opportunities, it limits our joy and makes our world colorless and small.
The best example I can think of to demonstrate this is to imagine you had a shoulder injury. If you were like most people and were afraid of pain and every time you moved your shoulder it hurt, what would you do? I’m sure you would choose to keep your arm held against your body, cossetting it and keeping it safe. If you did this, then in no time, your sore shoulder would be sore and stiff, and it would slowly freeze up until you had a million times more pain and pain that went on for years. Your choices made unconsciously to avoid pain would actually avoid pain in the short term, but bring on far more pain in the long term. Your stiff shoulder would require therapy and the small amount of suffering would escalate into monumental suffering. A different, non-fear avoidant choice would produce a whole different outcome.
It is incredibly empowering to remember that everything is a choice. Every minute of every day is a choice. It’s easy to forget that we have choices and it’s easy to pretend to ourselves that we don’t. But that will be self-deception.
Sometimes people prefer to live in blame because it seems less painful than accepting, they may have made a mistake, made a bad choice. If we could reframe our view on mistakes and getting it wrong, then maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to blame and it would be easier to take responsibility for the choices we have made and the consequences we have ‘bought’ ourselves.
In my life I have practiced saying: “I’ve made a mistake.” I’ve practiced it until it doesn’t hurt anymore. When we forget that the choices we make, "buy" consequences for ourselves, we deny ourselves the full picture and we become victims in our thinking. It will help us to make our choices wisely if we notice the consequences of the choices we are making and choose with the consequences in mind.
Lets consider a familiar example:
You choose to eat a slab of chocolate, even when you have promised yourself that this week you are eating healthily. You choose to eat it unconsciously, because you fear being deprived and missing out. Before you have thought about the consequences you are "buying" and whether you can "afford" them, you have chosen and paid the price. The consequences of eating the slab of chocolate include:
Possible weight gain
Feeding the unhealthy bacteria in your gut, therefore poor gut health
Further sugar craving, partly because of the addictive nature of sugar and partly because of the over development of the un- healthy gut bacteria in your gut.
Possible inflammation due to the sugar you flooded your system with.
An insulin surge and an unstable blood sugar level as your body fights to regain the homeostais it needs for you to function and thrive.
Self-criticism and loss of self-worth, because you broke the promise you made to yourself.
I could go on, but I think you can see the consequences may not be what you want. Yet you are responsible for them. You bought them. Next time, you may make a different choice and just have a piece of chocolate or even have a fruit instead. I don’t know, because I don’t know which consequences you want for yourself.
Every moment of every day you are choosing. Choose wisely. You are creating your reality and your health. Choose consciously, and don’t leave it up to your unconscious mind or your habits to choose for you.
Exercise for reflection:
What choices will you make going forward?
What fears are you constantly trying to avoid? Red-flag them so you are never conned into thinking you can avoid them when you can't. Make friends with your fears so you work with them and don't let them dominate your life.