choice & perspective.

Dear you,

Advice is an interesting thing. It may be as worthless as a fleeting cliché or it might be your philosophical key to unimaginable personal success. There’s no way to know beforehand. You only find out if you follow it. That’s where great advice gains its value. Though given for free, it becomes priceless.

So clearly what you do with what I’m about to share is entirely up to you. You get to live however you choose.

That, in fact, is actually my advice.

Live however you choose.

Seems simple, huh? No? Seems impossible? It is as simple or complex as we make it. You can see life as something that happens to you, and is a result of luck, or you can decide that every outcome and moment is a result of your very own decisions, actions, behaviors, and perspectives.

Our struggles, our pain, our frustration, our happiness, joy and sorrow… They are all our own personal creations. We may not choose every aspect of our lives. We may not have control over everything (though we have much more than we often believe). We do, however, get to decide how we want to respond and react to those things.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say your person of interest does not reciprocate your feelings. Ouch, right? Now what? Well, you’re kind of sad about it… But wait! Let’s stop and think for a moment! Do you HAVE to be sad about it? If you want to be sad, then be sad. That’s okay. It’s a human feeling, and sometimes we need to embrace every feel to experience all of life. But if you don’t? Well, then… We have some choices to make.

“Do I want that person to become interested?” Well, the first means of being attractive is likely to be smiling, happy, independent, exciting and vibrant, and probably not sad and mopey. Sad and mopey is usually not sexy.

But! “Is it worth feeling sad about a person who doesn’t see how remarkable and lovable you are?” Yes, yes… That person has nice teeth, and really cool hair. Got it. Neither of those will sustain you indefinitely. Be honest! No they won’t! If that person can’t see how truly amazing you are they’re maybe a little too obtuse or lack the intellectual horsepower to be worthy of you. In fact, let me tell you this: the right person for you – the one that will really make you happy – is the one who enters your life and chooses to stay. It’s not the person you hunt, trap, or chain down… But that’s another conversation.

“Okay, so so maybe that person isn’t quite worth it. Fine. I’m still sad. Now what?” Well this is the tough part. You may have to wrestle with it a bit. Why are you sad? Ask yourself that. Ask it again. Ask it again and again until you can start being really honest in how you answer. Ask it until you really know and understand your sadness. And then find the choices… Because ultimately you get to choose to be sad or not. Believe it or not, you do.

Maybe in your digging, you find that it’s not this person at all. It’s that you’re afraid you’ll always be alone. Then ask yourself, “Why is that so terrible?” There are so many good things about being independent and having to answer to no one! You are free to be with whomever you like, wherever you like, whenever you like!  No tethers! No strings!

You may find it’s because you are afraid you’re really ugly. Then ask yourself, “What is beauty, really, other than a social construct?” It’s an made up thing, so why can’t you make up your own mind about it, and decide that the absolute pinnacle of beauty is you – your skin, your bones, and the exact color of your eyes?

You may find it’s because of something else entirely, but the one thing that I know is that eventually if you keep digging you’ll discover the choice – your choice – about your perspective.

That’s just one example. There are more than I could fathom. We get to choose how we feel about how much money we have, or the place that we sleep, or our bodies, or the things that we own, or the people in our lives. If we could only remember that it’s up to us and nobody else. And then when we’ve decided that there are some things we choose to not be content with, we can then choose to change them, whether it takes a moment or a thousand years.

Ultimately that’s what it comes down to. Every feel we feel is a result of our perspective. When we analyze it enough, we can find the places where we get to choose to hold on to that perspective or to let it go… And trust me. Most times it’s scary or uncomfortable to let it go. But let it go. It’s probably scary the first time a bird spreads its wings and jumps into the sky too.

Good luck! – JUST KIDDING!!! – Good choices!

– m

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