Who or what is making your choices?
Updated: Aug 22
“The choices we make dictate the lives we lead, to thy own self be true.” This quote appeared in the movie Renaissance Man back in 1994 but was originally from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
I remember hearing this quote in the movie way back then and thought, “I need to remember this.” While writing it down in the front cover of my sketchbook, I repeated it over and over in my mind because for some reason I knew it was important.
Over the years this quote would pop into my mind, and I’d think “Oooh, cool quote”, but I don’t think I really grasped the concept of it back then or gave the meaning much thought until my life was falling apart a couple of years ago.
We make choices on a day-to-day basis, sometimes reviewing the consequences, and sometimes not. Even sometimes we feel compelled to make one choice over another, not even knowing “why”, and unaware or ignoring the potential impacts of what we choose.
The “why” is that we are driven by our programming and beliefs we received from our family, society, adaptations, trying to fit in, and environmental conditioning. Unless we look at things a little deeper, we may not even realize what is really driving our choices, because we think we have free will.
When we choose something that deep down that we know we don’t want to do, this is us being driven by this programming from the past, trying to fit in, be accepted, or be loved. We know it goes against our soul, but we still do it anyways. We feel bad if we do the opposite, we fear rejection or non-acceptance, and we choose something we don’t want in our lives. The more and more this happens, the more we get stuck.
We go on about living our day-to-day lives, distracting and numbing ourselves until something jolts us to wake up. Maybe a crossroad? Maybe a moment of desperation? Whatever it may be, this “it” forces us to pause, wake up, show up, and look at what is happening in our lives.
In these moments something shifts. We can either answer the call for change or continue to numb ourselves and ignore what is really happening.
· If we feel this shift, we are called to act.
· If we don’t, we continue to live our lives in fear, convention, trying to fit in, or adaptation. We handicap ourselves if we continue to live this way.
When we feel the shift, take time to pause, and review the life choices we have made. We come to realize we do have a conscious choice in what happens in our lives and not be overrun by our unrealized programming. We have the ability to decide what is the driving factor and if those choices feed or deplete our souls, as we are the constant central character in this drama we call our lives.
Whatever choices we make, something inside of us is watching and waiting for us to step up, be accountable, and choose a life for ourselves… not one that is foisted on us by parents, lovers, friends, society, or something outside of ourselves. Some might call this the soul, our life force, or whatever you want to think of it as. No matter what you call it, it is there inside of all of us.
· What is waiting for you to choose?
· What is waiting inside for you to wake up and claim your life?
· What is waiting for you to reclaim the power of your choice, your voice, and your life?
It is for us to decide how long we will continue to make choices in our lives that bind us to things that no longer serve us. A job, a relationship, a friendship, an addiction, a behavior, or a social construct. Whatever it is, these things keep us up at night because deep down we know “it’s no good” and we deserve better.
How long will we continue doing something that no longer serves us? Can we find the strength to recognize and make the needed choices and changes that allow us to grow and be accountable for the outcomes in our lives?
It’s up to us to choose, whether we want to recognize it or not. Our lives are truly our own, and the choices we make in fact do dictate the lives we lead. How and what will you choose?
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