choices

This is probably one of those blogs that might be a ramble because I have so much passion involving this topic! That's choices. Ironically enough this has been on my mind to write something for weeks & Andy Stanely at church today spoke about it. Growing up you are taught there are consequences for your choices and if you're lucky you learn, "If I do something I shouldn't do a negative consequence will occur," VS. "If I do something I shouldn't do someone will hopefully bail me out or I will be able to somehow talk myself out of it OR even worse I will find someone else to put the blame on." I don't know if anyone else has noticed this or not, but not a lot of people care much about the consequences of their choices anymore.  Assuming people know by now, I mean it's common sense, what is a wise/good choice & what is a poor/negative choice.  And because people know this you would assume they would want to make the wise/good choice, right? It seems more and more are forgetting that when they make bad choices, bad things happen. 

You drink too much, you get hungover, or maybe in a fight with someone, or even arrested.  Sometimes you drink too much and you develop a habit, which can turn into alcoholism.  You eat that extra desert you gain weight, feel bad, & it affects your health.  You chose to sleep in instead of waking up to eat breakfast, or waking up to workout, or waking up to get to work on time.  You stay up late because you're having fun, and the next day you're tired & good for nothing. 

We've all made these poor decisions, so please don't hear me standing on my soap box pretending to be perfect. 

So with these choices after you face the consequences some people decide to try to make better choices, and some just keep going with the poor choices, because they don't have the (I don't know the correct word here so I'm going to use several) will power, courage, strength, understanding, willingness, or common sense to think about changing their choices. 

I see this everyday, whether it's someone I know or a complete stranger. 

1. An alcoholic patient comes in and states, "This is my 3rd time through treatment, I've had multiple seizures due to alcohol, I have cirrhosis of the liver, a bleeding ulcer, and high blood pressure."  You think someone like this can come in & realize they are killing themselves & they need to stop drinking (which without argument is a much harder decision for them to make), but they get dismissed with a strong support system and leave and go home immediately and get drunk, and that is their CHOICE. 
2. You are angry and instead of taking the time to chose to calm down & handle the situation in a way that will make you proud, you yell at your loved ones, kick your dog, throw something & break it, punch a wall & break your hand, etc...  All choices that are counterproductive.  What does any of these reactions to anger help? However, over & over again when you are angry you CHOOSE to take it out in a negative way.
3. You know there is something you NEED to change.  Maybe it's a habit, maybe it's a debt, maybe it's the way you treat others, or the way you treat yourself, maybe it's to stop being so negative about everything, maybe it's needing to take better care of yourself (working out or eating habits or no more smoking!!), or maybe even just as simple as no swearing, etc.  This is something you KNOW you need to work on, however knowing you need to do something about it & CHOOSING to do something about it are 2 different things. 

^I think I've made my point.  So with that I rant, I rant that what is it going to take for people to wise up and change the choices they make.  Does it take rock bottom for everyone?  Does it take them pushing the people closest to them away?  Does it take someone walking out the door & leaving forever?  Does it take them hurting someones feelings?  What does it take?  And more importantly knowing that you have NO control over OTHER people's choices, only your own.  You may be watching someone you love make poor choices, and feel hopeless and or responsible; but you must remember it's NOT your responsibility.  I mentioned earlier if you're lucky you learned early on that YOU must deal with the consequences of YOUR choices.  So, even though you want to save that person from the negative consequences, that is not your responsibility. 

It's a gift that we have the free will to even make choices.  It's a privilege that some people have the means to make some other choices.  Which is why it's so important for people to take control of their decisions.  "You cannot manage your life if you do not manage yourself.  You cannot manage yourself if you do not manage your choices. Manage your choices, and you will manage your life." Author unknown. 

With all this said, I've made it clear I'm striving to make better choices.  Each day is a battle to follow through (see new years resolutions for specifics) with everything, but if at the end of the day I can go to bed feeling good about my progress and my choices, then I feel I'm successful.  So what will you chose in your life?  Are you satisfied with your current choices, or does something need to change?

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