Monday, October 24, 2005

My Choices

In an earlier post entitled "Paralysis" I made the statement “My life is good and rich and wonderful and I will keep it that way.”

One of the comments that I received was “You say, your life is good and rich and you will keep it that way. How I wonder, by control?”

My response follows.

I have been through some bad times. I was unhappily married for 25 years. I was a pastor for twenty years and experienced people at their worst. When I say “my life is good and rich and wonderful” I am not speaking casually or carelessly. The lessons I have learned came slowly and painfully.

First, life is a choice. I can choose to be happy or I can choose to be unhappy. This decision is not made directly but indirectly through small, daily decisions. For example, I can choose to mismanage my money and live with the stress that results from no savings, bad credit and irate creditors. I can respond with impatience and anger toward my wife and destroy a relationship that is a source of support, encouragement and love. If I make these decisions I would not be content and happy. The decision to be unhappy is made through daily behavior decisions. The reverse is true also. I can make wise decisions that foster happiness, contentment and inner peace.

Second, even though I have much control over my life there are some areas over which I have no control. If my wife were killed in an auto accident, my life would not be good and rich and wonderful. It would be horrible and black and almost unbearable. My statement that “I will keep it that way” must be limited to the things over which I have control.

Third, I am a unity – an integrity – oneness. This means that my life can’t be split into emotional, mental, physical, social, spiritual, etc. However, just as a cube can be viewed from six sides and remain one, it’s possible to discuss various aspects of my life independently. In reality, I am one. This means that if I suffer physically then I may suffer emotionally and mentally. If I fail to maintain positive, supportive social relationships then my health may suffer. The point is that I must make wise decision in all areas of my life.

Fourth, I attempt to care for myself in all aspects of my life. I walk several miles each week and go to the weight room two or three times. I guard my relationship with my wife. I plan some quiet time each day. I listen to calming music. I try to eat healthy. I think about positive things. I don’t watch movies that glorify destructive behavior, etc, etc. This may sound like a burdensome regimen but it isn’t. I made small changes over a period of years. Most of what I do is an unconscious part of my daily life and is enjoyable.

In the end, there is no magic formula, no special prayer, no path to enlightenment. Through experience and reading and learning from the words and examples of others, I have learned to manage my life in a way that maximizes the PROBABILTY that it will be good and rich and wonderful. This doesn’t sound very spiritual or glamorous but this is the real world and it a good world..

Why do I share this? I know you, the reader, don’t care about my life and that is as it should be. You have your own life and should be focusing on it. So, why do I share this? Because I learn from other people; I’m motivated and encouraged by the example of other people. Hopefully, you will benefit from and be encouraged by my example. As I said at the beginning “life is a choice”. It's your responsibility to choose the goods things from my example and discard the bad because, truly, I am a mixture.


Blogger Blow'n in the wind said...

Is it self control or an illusion of control.

Our parents, our community, our genes, our siblings, the environment, our education, our brain, our body, our talents, our attractions, temptations, our children...

and what breathes the body?

10/24/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Thom said...

Experience and reading and learning from the words and examples of others is a path to enlightenment. You seem to have gone far on the path.

10/25/2005 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger utenzi said...

I am quite impressed with your blog and also your command of the language. Your writing is clear and compelling. This post "My Choices" is particularly touching.

All 4 of your points are so true and obvious--once pointed out. Our own choices in how we act and react do define our lives. I'm afraid I've not done a very good job to this point in my life--but as you point out, I can change.

10/25/2005 09:46:00 AM  
Blogger George Breed said...

That's not true. I do care about your life. We have conversed and I'm beginning to know you. You are part of my Awareness community.

10/25/2005 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Sophia said...

Hey, I'm one of your readers and I care about your life!

10/26/2005 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger Sophia said...


I also noticed how well his words flowed. He's a very good writer.

10/26/2005 04:31:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Stacey, Utenzi and George,

Thank you for your kind words. I am glad that I can could each of you as part of my community of friends.

10/26/2005 07:08:00 AM  

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