The word ‘choice’ seems to have that curious quality of making people feel that they have a future because there are many. If the wrong choice is made, they would have according to lore omitted an obvious answer and messed something up so badly by making yet another obvious and painful mistake, usually to the same obvious and painful detriment that most people would frown upon. According to the myth of choice, we all have the moral and emotional fortitude to steer clear from making the bad decisions in the first place.
I often worry about my clients self perception as it guides their future actions. They often seem to put themselves down and blame themselves almost exclusively for the ending of their relationships, and often their entire life. So it’s this moral clause of ‘She is alone because she chooses to’ or ‘is sick because she wants to be’ that is pervasive in our success oriented society. And with that they infer that we keep making the same wrong decisions not just once, but over and over again and are idiotically purposefully continuing to press the wrong button, over and over.
Could this be because there are too many choices? Sometimes, when presented with too many options we don’t make any firm decisions – the myth of ‘more is better’ can actually be paralyzing.
A choice is like a conscious decision. A decision is a carefully weighed up option. So if one makes decisions unconsciously, is that a person’s choice? I would have to venture to say that we make 80% of our decisions unconsciously – and we are being handed and marketed the illusion of having options. Be wary of this, as more information, more knowledge, more people, more boyfriends, more friends – all these things may only serve to complicate life and not actually firm up any areas that you need to be forced to experience. In a way, choice is being used as a way to avoid facing our problems. When a problem presents itself, sometimes, your only option is to be in the problem – and not look for any way out. Why? Because otherwise you will never learn patient decision making – over years and years of observation – by thinking you can take a shortcut by making shortcuts. Then why do people keep sabotaging themselves by making the same decisions again and again even if it hurts them?’ Even if what usually follows is their desultory self-derision – perhaps unconsciously they need less choice – as choice makes them suffer. What if people are poor decision makers? Does this make them failures? Surely they learn by failing how to make good decisions?
“Why would a person want to continue to suffer” you cry –and I retort – perhaps none of the options were in line with their personality or perhaps it would not have worked out for them. Perhaps what seems like a bad decision is actually the best move. So even if they temporarily sabotage themselves to get a good result – what is wrong with that? Perhaps they are happy being unhappy. Perhaps they watched their parents suffer and succeed through perseverance and were taught to stay and fight. This is the wonder of unconscious decision making. If that’s the case, then many of us probably have been taught to suffer more than we should – but what is the measure of ‘too much suffering’? This is a personal threshold and should never be dictated by an outside force or societal norms. If someone wants to be sick, be sick. Be in pain and grumpy – then in remain in pain and grumpy. It just means they will be good at something else – nobody can be good at everything in life. This is perhaps a natural balancing act. If they want to be mean – they can be mean to some extent – and this is where the threshold or limit kicks in – as long as you don’t hurt anyone continuously – be grumpy – choose to be mean – and remain in pain. You don’t have to out choose everyone. This catch phrase is almost the new moral value – the 11th commandment – only, it has no fixed point of reference, no sense and almost no bearing or point of pivot – so how can we make decisions on the vague notion of making ‘the right one’?
People often free-fall into the bad habit of chastising themselves for having been completely aware of a poor decision they made – again – and they begin to imagine that somewhere out there – there is a horde of Super-Choosers, people that seem to out choose, outdo and out-succeed by never making mistakes. They must never be sickly - must be a robust bunch – the same frustratingly perfect type of person that would excel at coordination in modern or aerobics dance classes. “Why, oh why, oh why, we – ask, are we not like ‘them’?” This is the problem with the Myth of Choice. After all – have I chosen for it to be sunny today? What if the weather affects my business? Then have I ‘chosen’ to affect my sales or income? Sure, my client may have chosen to have gotten into a series of self destructive relationships, she may have chosen to have lost her job, she may have even have ‘decided’ to get cancer – but for the life of me, I still cannot figure out how to choose the weather! I am certain that the last slew of disasters we have had not have been our own direct doing. Why then do we ascribe the same power to most other areas of our lives?
It’s the new attainable unattainable ideal. It’s good to always have an escape plan – a back door – or a dream to aspire to. But for the average sufferer or person it is sold and packaged as ‘Free Will’. I feel there is sometimes nothing more intimidating than the idea of Free Will. I would prefer a vengeful God to manage my affairs for me – because given my feeble humanity I am sure I would not grasp the importance of the right fate for myself.
Even if choice sounds positive – it can also be an incredibly disempowering concept like that of being beyond our grasp like the mystical god head (or answer to life) that is only available to the Super Choosers. You know – the happy people, the ones that apparently continuously do well.
Psst…can I tell you a secret? Most of them still make the wrong decisions! They just seem more conscious of it…so why join them?
Of course Super Choosers don’t exist. As counselors we see all the frailties and failings of human beings – and to me they are what makes us beautiful and human. Why would anyone decide to erode their imperfections and problems if it brings out the best in them, the most passionate or productive in them – even if it came through loss? What is wrong with feeling?
Only when that myth is dispelled will we see paths available to us – as I have to ask – what is wrong with only having one direction? What if it is the right one? What if the wrong direction is the right one?
What if she had to lose her job, to have the child, for her boyfriend to leave her due to her cancer, to find out she will survive, write a book about her life, start her own company, live in remission, live her life out alone, and have a closer relationship with her daughter? Was it worth it? Possibly – depending on the person – or possibly not. Did she bring this upon herself? Decidedly not. Life is laden with sadness, but sadnesses that enrich us and make us more human. Sometimes when dealt a powerful blow in life – one can give in, surrender and stop looking for every way out so that one could finally concentrate on how it feels to feel. To be alive. To surrender to life.
Sometimes – oftentimes – life can be difficult, in fact disastrous at times. And sometimes there are no choices – sometimes you are just dealt the roughest blow, and there will be millions of other people out that will attest to the same. I get to hear their stories – and they are much like yours. You are not alone if you feel you have nowhere to go. Maybe you don’t for now. Be in this reality as much as you can and stop trying to perfect yourself. The answer is often a strong yes or often a strong no and sometimes, we just don’t know which – and that is in my opinion, quite ordinary and acceptable, and human. Sometimes to be super-human one has to be ‘man enough’ to face all the problems we encounter, and this is what will define us in Spirit.
About The Author: Carmen’s waking dreams have provided accurate glimpses into the future for celebrities as well as political and international figures. Her non-judgmental, Empathic approach, as well as her unique method of Tarot reading, affords her the reputation as a groundbreaker in her field. This European born Canadian is the first online psychic to promote the idea of Empathy and emotional thought transference, and she has written a great deal on the subject. For a comprehensive Intuitive reading that will transform your life, you can find Carmen at PsychicAccess.com.
2 Responses to “The Myth Of Choice”
Leave a Reply