“I Choose to be Free”

The title of this post is an affirmation I got today (Daily Affirm app, for those who are curious). After a few days of feeling a bit unsettled and tossed about, I felt like I was finally turning a corner and feeling like my normal self again. And it was a great reminder about how much of life comes down to choice.

Yesterday, a woman at my meditation group talked about learning the nuances of her emotions – optimistic, restless, anguished, irritated, and so on. I found that by learning the different shades of my emotions – and learning to feel them and correctly identify their source (sometimes, for me, they were not what they seemed) – I can make better choices for dealing with them. Sometimes that just means sitting through them and praying for help.

But what struck me most about this woman was saying is that how she learned to choose to stay to a more positive outlook – rather than sitting through an internal, self-created downpour and feeling like there was no way out of it. Instead of playing the role of victim, I can take responsibility for my outlook and therefore become empowered.

I was out with friends when we witnessed another woman first walk into a surprise birthday, and then receive a proposal from her boyfriend. I know that in the past I would’ve been straight-up jealous of this person. “Why can’t someone love me enough to do that for me? How come good things only happen to other people? Why aren’t I that lucky?” Me, me, me … poor, pitiful me.

Instead, I felt genuinely happy for her – I didn’t let jealousy eat away at my inner peace. But also, I realized I didn’t know a damn thing about that woman, her life, her pain, her joy, whatever. It was a celebratory moment. It wasn’t mine, but in a small way, I got to share in it.

I am choosing more to be grateful … to not fight the universe … to not fight and struggle with people and situations that are out of my control. I want to BE peace, and harmony, and loving-kindness.

That’s what I choose for me, and I am happy to make that choice.

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Andrew Hines

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