March 18

Today's quotation:

We need to teach the next generation of children from Day One that they are responsible for their lives.  Humankind's greatest gift--also its greatest curse--is that we have free choice.
We can make our choices built from love or from fear.

Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross

Today's Meditation:

This is, indeed, a somewhat frightening thought.  We are responsible for our own lives.  Not our parents, not our spouses, not our siblings, not our bosses or co-workers or friends or enemies.  We are responsible for what happens to us, and for the paths that our journeys follow.

I recently saw a young woman being interviewed who said that her boyfriend's anger at her and his violent reactions to her were mostly her fault.  A therapist who was with her told her simply and clearly:  we cause no one to react in any way at all.  All of her boyfriend's actions and reactions were his choice, and they had nothing to do with her at all.  Her choice not to leave a violent boyfriend was hers alone, and it was a choice based in fear--fear of being alone, fear of being unlovable, fear of him and his reactions.

We often use other people's actions or reactions as justification for many of our choices in life.  Despite years of alcoholism and mental and emotional abuse, a woman I know never left her husband.  That was her choice, and the choice was built in fear.  That fear caused her to live many, many years with an abusive spouse, yet she has claimed that life hasn't been fair to her.

We often claim that others "cause" us to be certain ways or to do certain things.  That simply isn't true.  How free we will be when we claim our heritage of freedom and peace of mind and peace of heart, and make our decisions based on love, after asking the question, "what would be the most loving thing to do in this situation, for me and all involved?"

Questions to consider:

Do you make most decisions out of love, or out of fear?

Have you ever been taught by anyone that your life is your responsibility?  If so, what was that person like?

How many role models do we have that live the idea that they are responsible for their own lives, decisions, and actions?

For further thought:

Over the years I have come to believe that life is full of unchosen circumstances, that being human has to do with the evolution of our individual consciousness and with it, responsibilities for choice.  Pain and joy both come with life.  I believe that how we respond to what happens to us and around us shapes who we become and has to do with the psyche or the soulís growth.

Jean Shinoda Bolen


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