The world likes to tell us what to do. The overwhelm and inability to meet every expectation stems from a society that calls us to master all.the.things. But did you know you have a choice?
Choice is a powerful gift we are given. The other day my son and daughter were in their usual side by side posture on the floor playing with their toys. They love being together but have very different interests, so instead of playing together, they play next to each other. My son was starting to cross the line into my daughter’s territory, and she was getting frustrated.
“Liam, I am angry with you. This is MY side.”
I told Evelyn the following: “Honey, you’re not being very kind! You can share your space with your brother.”
She responded with more frustration and the quick-to-arrive tears began to fall.
“But Liam is making me feel NOT happy!”
Her brother looked at her calmly and followed up with a very wise response: “Don’t let anyone take your happiness!”
I have always known that happiness is a choice. So I have told my kids from a young age that only they can control their happiness. But it’s easy to forget. Of COURSE, we want to choose happiness, but in the heat of the moment when someone else has other plans for our lives, we hand over the control.
In my daughter’s case, her space was being invaded, so she made the decision to hand control over to her brother and let frustration win. Sure, her feelings are valid and shouldn’t be ignored. But Liam was right! Happiness is her own and she has to remember not to hand over power.
With my daughter being five and my son being two, I don’t expect them to maturely understand this lesson. In my late 20’s, I need the reminder almost daily! Reflecting on this over the past week, I began to think what other ways do I forget I have a choice?
When I am overwhelmed with our adoption process, I have the option of choosing faith!
When I feel fearful about my daughter’s academic future because she learns differently than most, I have the option of choosing to focus on her strengths and who God created her to be.
When I feel like a failure, I can choose to remember my wins!
When I am consumed with my to-do list, I can choose to keep things simple.
These are just a few examples of many. But I plan to be mindful of the word “choice” so that I can create a better life for myself and the ones I love.
What do YOU want to choose for yourself this week? What path will you take to bring you closer to your best life?
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