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No one is making you do anything

Your commitments and obligations are not evidence of enslavement, but expressions of freedom.

Every decision you make, including the ones you think you have to make, is a demonstration of the power you have over your own experiences.

We speak in the language of necessity as if we “have” to go to work or as if we have “no choice” but to pay our bills.

A person who hates his job may feel like work is something he has to do. After all, he detests his job so why else would he do it unless he really didn’t have a choice?

We’ve all had someone point out the obvious by saying “But he does have a choice. He could choose to not go to work.”

When something like this is pointed out, it not only sounds naive, but it often feels as if language games are being played.

Our response is usually, “Of course, a person COULD choose not to go to work, but then they’d probably end up becoming homeless so it’s not REALLY a choice.”

But here’s the problem with that kind of thinking: It makes the assumption that because certain options are incompatible with what we want, that we are not REALLY free to act on them or avoid them.

The logic goes like this: If I don’t pay my bills, then I will have to forego my necessities. If I forego my necessities, I will either suffer or die. Suffering and death are things I must avoid as long as it is in my power to do so. Therefore I must pay my bills. See, it’s not really a choice. I have to do it whether I like it or not.

Here’s the fundamental flaw in that logic:

Suffering and Death are things I must avoid as long as it is in my power to do so.

Says who? According to what? Why is suffering and death something you MUST avoid? After rolling your eyes at me for daring to even question this, try to actually answer the question. WHO decided that suffering and death must be avoided? Everyone of us has the power to inflict suffering upon ourselves (please don’t do it!!!) or end our own lives (please don’t do it!!!) at any moment. Many people have already done so. So, what makes you choose not to exercise those options?

The answer to that question says something very impressive about you. Here it is:

You’ve decided to be a survivor even it means having to endure some sorrow and discomfort. You’ve decided that laying down and dying voluntarily is not an option. You don’t make tough decisions because you “have” to.You make tough decisions because the consequences of doing the alternative are inconsistent with what you’ve decided your life is all about. The only force that’s making you do what you do every day is the passion and conviction you have about gaining the benefits you want to experience and avoiding the consequences you don’t want to experience.

Think about that the next time you find yourself complaining about your obligations or doing something you don’t feel like doing.

We are all victims of some form of suffering.

The biggest difference between the victims who make it and the victims who never find freedom is that the victims who make it are the ones who find a way to remember that they have the power of choice.

It’s impossible to make healthy choices when you don’t believe you have choices at all.

Will you see your next tough decision as proof that you’re a slave or as a testimony to the fact that you’re a survivor?

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