To Thine Own Self Be True

Once in a while something I hear sticks with me in such a way that it is

Even when it seems like the wheel of fate is deciding, you always have a choice.

Even when it seems like the wheel of fate is deciding, you always have a choice.

stored in my personal memory vault of World View information. I would love to say that those dusty corners of my mind are exclusively populated by the likes of Sun Tzu and Henry David Thoreau. The truth is these fine minds oft find themselves in the dining company of Eminem, random movie stars, the occasional anonymous Pinterest quote, and one-liners from others who have briefly yet permanently touched my life.

The Daily Prompt called up a quote from the movie Renaissance Man. (Okay, well actually it comes from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but I’m a big enough person to admit that I first heard it in the movie.)

The prompt actually asked whether or not I read fiction and why, but the word choice is what sticks out to me today as I’m currently in the midst of some ridiculously difficult choices which really don’t feel like choices at all given the various alternatives.

“The choices you make dictate the life you lead.”

I simultaneously wish that people would embrace this concept and stop blaming their lives on circumstance while also nursing a fervent desire that fate truly was the master of my destiny.

While nothing – NOTHING! – irritates and disgusts me more than someone plaintively whining about or passively accepting their lot in their very changeable life, I also dream of the ease of letting someone else decide.

Wouldn’t it be nice to look to the universe for – and find! – signs that help you know you are forging ahead in the right direction? Or to simply sit down and pray at the end of the day and know that tomorrow’s decisions are already made? That choices really aren’t choices, and no matter what you do the outcome with be as it should be?

Given my profession, I have my own superstitions – never say the “Q” Word (quite), don’t “tempt fate” by talking about certain events, don’t make plans for vacations during fire/flood/hurricane season (And yes I recognize that pretty much means don’t make plans. Ever.). I also watch football, and I am reasonably certain that when I watch games we have a better chance at winning. (I’d tell you what team I support, but obviously that could jinx our chances, so….) I may even believe in karma. I’ve experienced enough of it to feel like there could be something to it.

But never in my life have I believed that passively accepting the unacceptable is an option.

Our lives are the product of but one thing: We. Make. Choices.

Your choices may, frankly, suck as I’m currently being reminded. It may be the classic “shit or shinola” scenario, but you still have a choice.

Quitting your job is a choice: risk not being able to pay your bills or be miserable is a choice.

Having an affairs is a choice: risk a horribly awkward and painful conversation and hurt someone or avoid that conversation and most likely hurt someone anyway (whilst also compromising your integrity) is a choice.

Buying a car, taking the bus, getting married, having a baby, choosing to stay single and free, waking up late, working out, eating healthy, crossing the street when the light is still red, saying something mean in the heat of an argument, or even doing nothing – THESE ARE ALL CHOICES.

So I urge you – and me – to remember that. Believe that. And try to make the choices that will make you better, stronger, braver, more fearless.

Or, rather, I urge you to make the choices you believe are the right choices for you. I might make different choices in the same situation, but that is why our lives are so exceptional – because they are all different, all fraught with risk and adventure, terror and elation, joy and sorrow.

The choices you make dictate the life you lead!!!!

Don’t let them be made for you. If you do, then you’re missing the point.

14 thoughts on “To Thine Own Self Be True

  1. POODLE says:

    As per me…Even if there is destiny or fate, hardly anything you can do about so rather whining over whats not done, make a CHOICE of moving on.

  2. It has been said that we have a choice to pick up the stick, but we don’t have a choice as to where the other end of the stick ends up.
    I love your post! Yes, we have a choice to break someone’s heart, but do we want to? Really? Is that our mission? I like that you mention karma, and as I’m not certain I believe in it, either, there does seem to be something to it.
    Anyway, this made me a follower! Happy blogging! 🙂

  3. I read your post and several other quotes came to mind, but one that really stuck with me over a year after I read the book was this one: “We don’t get to chose what is true. We only get to choose what we do about it.” ~Kami Garcia, Beautiful Darkness
    Great post!

  4. Resonates with me! Your thoughts on the ‘universe’ essentially having already planned for us, especially struck a chord. I often try desperately to believe this. The control freak, Aries starsign in me finds it hard to allow this. I’m working on it. Choice. A wonderful and powerful thing. (Oddly enough, the prompt also saw me write about choice from a different persepective.) Thanks for your post. 🙂

  5. I really like your take on the prompt, great discussion of choice. Someone once told me, “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” I’m the type of person who is usually resistant to change, but it is so true that it’s inevitable and we can choose to grow from it or not!

  6. I agree 100% about being a product of my choices. If something is “unacceptable” then it begs to be changed. The very definition of the word defies complacency and unwillingness to act. It is NOT acceptable! Thanks for sharing your post.

  7. gahlearner says:

    Yesss! Yes, yes, yes. Sorry, I’ve been reading around searching for I don’t know what and came across this, and your post just hit home. (Coming here from Blogging 101 as you surely have guessed).

    “But never in my life have I believed that passively accepting the unacceptable is an option.”

    Absolutely. Just so. It is called taking responsibility for one’s actions. A choice is an action. And sometimes it is difficult to admit that what got us in a situation is a choice we made, but perhaps admitting this is maing the situation better? Won’t spam your blog any more, will post on that for the follow-up prompt. Thank you for that great post. I’ll be following.

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