Monday, July 13, 2015

Make Smart Choices: I Had No Choice!

The other day, I wrote about staying in ignorance and making smart choices.  I mentioned that I'd woken up on the wrong side of the bed and had myself a pity party, then told myself that I didn't have to stay there. That I always have a choice. The smart choice was not to allow my emotions rule me, but to take control over them.

Later that night, I had to deal with an ongoing issue that kept me on the phone for hours and offered no satisfactory solution. After I hung up and threw my hissy fit (note: I let emotions rule me), the Hubster said, "You had no choice (in relation to the situation's non-resolution)."

"Not true," I replied. "We always have a choice."

How often have you said that out of frustration or anger?

"I had no choice!"

Even when there seems to be no choice, we always have a choice. We can accept or reject an unsatisfactory answer.

If we choose to accept the situation, it usually means that we give up our right to be right, as well as our belief that our demands should be met on our terms. And when we've been fighting for our cause, we don't want to give up and admit defeat.

When we reject the offered or prescribed answer, when the solution is not to our satisfaction, our anger is fueled, our self-righteousness is kindled, and our need for restitution is ignited. 

We choose to stay in anger to protect our self-righteous behavior. 

Unhealthy thinking keeps us stuck in that mindset, in a constant search for the next person (or company, in my case) to blame for wronging us. It creates a pattern that keeps us trapped in anger, frustration and negativity.

That's what makes grouchy old biddies and grumpy old men.

Is that where you want to live?

I sure don't.  

The catalyst to change? 

Decide if it's worth the battle. If so, then by all means continue to pursue it, knowing that you still may not get your way in the end. But if you decide that the pursuit for "my way" is not worth the aggravation or the health risks (higher blood pressure, loss of sleep, appetite changes/mood swings, depression, etc), then the following steps are necessary:
  1. Forgive the individual(s) and let it go.  
  2. Accept the situation, the solution, and your part of the blame.
  3. Release your anger/frustration/right to be right/right to be compensated. 
In my case, it was a company that "wronged" me. Forgiveness wasn't necessary; however, I needed to let the issue go, and accept the fact that I'd made the initial decision, I'd signed a contract, and they really weren't responsible for what had gone wrong. 

Making a smart choice to live with these attributes leads to serenity--the state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled. And isn't that really where we all aspire to live? Think of the health benefits rather than the health risks.

Sometimes, the offense is so great that we find forgiveness, acceptance and release impossible without the help of God. If we're honest, that's most of the time. That's the time to call on His name and ask for assistance. 

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.
Jeremiah 33:3

Knowing the difference is the key.

Are you in a state of serenity? Or a state of turbulence?

It's your choice.

Blessings Along the Path

I may share this post with any or all of the following: 
Joan at Sharing His Beauty, Laura at Playdates With God, Holly at Testimony Tuesday, Kelly at #RaRa Cheerleading Linkup, Beth at Wedded Wednesday, Holley at Coffee For Your Heart, Crystal at Thriving Thursdays, Deb at Blessing Counters, Barbie and Mary at The Weekend Brew, Janis at Sunday Stillness, Kaylene at Grace and Truth, Arabah Joy at Grace and Truth


  1. It is so true - more times than not, I have had a choice. Praying to be more willing to make the right ones. Blessings!

  2. Thank you so much. It's true. If I have learned only one thing: its the lesson you are writing about. May God bless you.

  3. I'm so glad you knew that you had the power to challenge and transform your feelings, Mary. Your words and choice here are inspiring, and I'm grateful that you were vulnerable enough to share a snippet of what you've been going through with all of us. These are the nitty gritty decisions we face on a daily basis to forgive even when it is not fair nor easy. But what freedom God gives us when we do! Hugs to you, my friend!

  4. I think I'm somewhere in between. Really worried one time and then finding serenity in the next. :D