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The Power to Choose

We all love to choose. Our most valued gift is the right to choose for ourselves. From our favorite ice cream, to a spouse to marry, or a car to purchase, to what we wear at work, choosing is a fun perk in life. This power comes free of charge from our Creator, but what happens when we can’t choose? What happens when we make so many wrong choices we limit the choices we can make in our life?

We know that foolish choices bring harm and unhappiness to us and our families. Incarceration, alcoholism, drug abuse and domestic violence all have its consequences in the time wasted, ruined relationships and broken trust. All these foolish choices and more keep us from fulfilling our potential and in reality, we lose our right to choose.

While we understand that we are free to choose and act for ourselves, we are not free to choose the consequences. Consequences always follow our actions whether they be good or bad. In reality, we select our destination and travel a road of choices we make in our life. We should remember and understand the accountability in making these bad choices.

Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA) founder and president, Albert Pooley relates a story in the power to choose:

“Early in my career as a marriage counselor and therapist, I found myself sitting next to an older man on a plane who began a conversation. In the course of the conversation, the man asked about my profession. Upon discovering the work I do with people, the man became interested and posed this question: ‘Why do people cheat on their spouses?’

I responded with “There are probably different reasons for unfaithfulness.” As I began to expound on my comment, the man politely held his hand up with his palm out and fingers in the air. I thought he wanted me to stop talking, so I paused. The man said, “Five times I’ve been married and five times I’ve cheated on my wives. I am now an old man and not married. After much reflection, I am convinced there is one reason, and one reason only, why people cheat on their spouses: because they want to cheat. They use many excuses, but the real reason is because they want to.”

This story is an excellent example of people making choices following a certain path. They do it because the want to. We might tell themselves it’s okay to break someone’s heart or abuse drugs, but the fact of the matter is we do what we want. Everyone does. The old man on the plane now knows the consequences of cheating on a spouse.

We all make mistakes but when we learn from those mistakes and make better choices, we can improve our lives and focus on what really matters. There are two helpful tools needed for choosing wisely. One is obedience and the other is goal setting.

Obedience means obeying the laws of the land and laws of human kindness, which contribute to family happiness and contentment. These are important and we need to learn to be obedient. When we finally understand why we should be obedient, blessings come.

Setting clear goals in our life can help us with a good sense of direction. We can be wondering around lost in life and not have a purpose but knowing where we want to go with a goal, helps us make the right choices.  We can know how to get there and reach our full potential.

If we only find sadness and misery in our life then we need to find which choices to make which will have a positive influence for us to be happy and feel joy.  Life can’t be happy all the time but for the most part our choices should bring us joy. Change will be necessary in our life to find our purpose. Our choices give us the tools we need to find that purpose.  Realizing what we can be and finding our true path is a powerful message for us. We have the power within ourselves to find joy.  We have a choice.

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