“I chose and my world was shaken. So What? The choice may have been mistaken; the choosing was not.” – Stephen Sondheim, Sunday in the Park with George
One of my friends has lived all over the world. She told me a story about how she was at a fancy party in Dubai as a little girl. The Sheik was throwing a party for some American families. There was candy everywhere. Some of it they had never seen before. Most of the kids were eating as much candy as they could. My friend’s mother is very wise. She told her daughters they could each have one piece of candy so “choose wisely”.
I sometimes see life as a series of choices. Each day we get a fresh set of choices and we get to choose what to do with those choices presented to us. We can choose to be nice. We can choose to be stressed. We can choose to listen to our bodies. We can make positive or negative choices. We all have the opportunity to make good choices everyday.
Sometimes choices are made for us. But it is up to us to make the best decision with what we are left to choose from. I saw a beautiful flower growing in the crease of the sidewalk next to a concrete wall last spring. I marveled at its ability to thrive despite its obviously tough circumstances. This flower did not choose to be planted in a barren place. But the flower did choose to grow despite its circumstances. We may not always have the best resources to make something out of our lives but it does not mean that we can’t thrive despite our circumstances.
There are times when I feel paralyzed when it comes time to make a choice. I want to do the best thing. I want to do the right thing. I want it to be at the right time. I weigh the options. I agonize over the possible outcomes. Sometimes I choose to not make a choice. I let life decide for me. That usually does not work out well. In those situations I when I have a hard time deciding I use the advice of my friend Marilu Henner. She says when you have a tough decision to make to live with one choice as if you have already chosen it for 24 hours and see how it makes you feel. Then live with the other choice for another 24 hours. Once you see how you feel you will know what to do.
I am not perfect. I do not always make the best choices. But I do my best to make strong choices each day. I commit fully to what I am doing with my life. I take risks to be better. I am pushing myself out of that comfortable crease in the sidewalk to find the light I know is out there. When I have taken a risk and made a big uncomfortable choice that is when my obstacles started to move. That was when my life became more of what I wanted it to be and less things just happening to me.
You may not get all the choices in the world available to you. But you do have a choice. Choose wisely.