“You are always just one decision away from a totally different life.” [unknown]
You are a lot of things. You are, in part, your physiology and genes. You are, in part, the product of your family, your circumstances and your culture.
But you are — first and foremost — your choices. Your choices are what YOU created. And continue to create.
You are the sum total of your choices over time. Choices can’t be undone; but you can often change them. You can often make a different choice, going forward. You don’t have to keep repeating history, where history has not worked out for you.
It’s not that genetics and circumstances don’t matter. But you had nothing to do with them. Those things simply ARE. You have to contend with them, perhaps; or adapt to them. But they are neither achievements nor failures. They are morally and psychologically neutral, despite any impact of circumstances (or other people’s choices) on your life.
The thing to focus on is your choices. Yes, the serenity prayer is correct. You can control some things and you cannot control others. Wisdom resides in knowing the difference. Delete OTHER PEOPLE (especially loved ones) off your list of things to control. You could sooner control the weather, or the gravitational force on earth. Things we cannot control we must RESPOND to … but choices are always at our disposal. And so long as we’re alive, and have at least some cognitive functioning, choices are always with us.
Try to choose wisely. And try to celebrate the fact you are a being who can make choices.
Michael J. Hurd