Chocolate or Vanilla, Choose!

If there is one linking thread throughout this series it is the very human idea of CHOICE.
We choose everything we do, say or think. We choose whether to brush our teeth or not (yuck), we choose to be nice to our significant other or not (hmmm?), we choose what to wear (unless you’re trying to stuff a size 18 body in to a size 10 pair of pants).
Choice is everywhere, in everything and it’s completely under our control. You’re choosing right now whether to continue to read this post or go do something else.
Ah, I see you’ve chosen to stick with me.
Years ago I took a course with an international self development organization and the two things that stood out the most from the course, and have been powerhouses for me ever since, are the ideas of “possibility” and “choice.” Just these two distinctions, these two gifts, were worth every dollar, and continue to pay off even today.
So how do we choose?
Some may say it’s like a decision. We decide to do or say or be something and we make it so. Think about the word “decide.” It comes from the family of words ending in “-cide,” such as “fratricide,” “suicide,””homicide,” “genocide.” It means to cut off, to kill, to kill your brother, yourself, to kill another or to kill an entire people. Nothing is safe from -cide, not even bugs. They are hunted down and killed with a “pesticides” and “insecticides.”
Specifically, the word “decide” comes from the French meaning to “cut off” or one may interpret, to kill off. One kills off or cuts off all the alternatives. So, when you decide something you are left with the only alternative left standing. The rest have been cut off. I wonder if that is why a boxing match is called a decision? The one left standing is the winner?
Nonetheless, when we make a choice we examine all of the possibilities, consider our options and select from those options. Our conclusion is based on what matters most to us after we’ve considered the alternatives. It is a much more powerful place to come from. When we make a choice rather than a decision we take responsibility for our actions, the things that we do, say and think.
Chocolate or Vanilla, Choose
You decide because of something. If you have a choice between chocolate or vanilla ice cream, and you decide to have chocolate ice cream, you do so for a reason. You like chocolate because strawberry gives you hives and such.
But, life doesn’t always give us choices like chocolate or vanilla. You don’t get to choose your mother or your father, your eye color, the culture you were born into or your hair color (OK, OK some can help the hair thing along). However, you can choose the way things are and the way things that are not in a powerful and enlightened way. You can choose anything for the way that it is and the way that it isn’t without any expectation of how it “should” be.
Life doesn’t always give you options as in “either/or.” Instead of offering a choice there may be only one thing from which to choose. Even without an “either/or” you can still make a choice.
For instance, your mother? Choose! You can choose your mother for all that she is and, more importantly, all that she isn’t, because, after all, she IS your mother. You can choose your body, your spouse, your job or your house without expecting it to be a certain way. Choosing this way eliminates the upset in life. By choosing what is so, what is actual and real, all the sadness and distress, disappointment, dissatisfaction and unhappiness magically disappears.
All in favor of the magic please raise your hand and leave a comment.
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Rick Lelchuk

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