What does it mean to have the power to choose? I thought that it meant that I had the power to choose my path, my goals, my dreams, and what I do with my time. I connect to my needs and then I make a choice based on those needs. If someone else that I am in relationship with has another idea, or is choosing something that conflicts with my strategy, then we connect to both of our needs and we attempt to find a new choice that is in service of both needs. Sounds straightforward, and yet it is surprisingly difficult to realise given the complexity of life.
I have found that there is another choice available to me. The power to choose how I react to life as it presents itself to me.
Although there are many situations where I have some influence on the outcome (In a relationship with someone or in my close community), what about situations where I have no obvious control over the outcome? Sickness, death, pain in the body, abuse, childhood trauma, being fired, friend or family who ignore attempts for contact.
My power rests in the power to choose how I react to these circumstances. The moment that I place the reason for my feeling outside myself is the moment that I give my power away. It is the exact moment that I subconsciously say “You have the power to determine my inner experience”.
It is only when I take responsibility for my feeling by linking to a need that I am standing in my power. It is my experience that I can offer a beautifully formulated giraffe response and still completely give up my power. How is this possible? It has a lot to do with where I place my ‘because’, or even deeper still ‘where I believe my because lives’.
When I place my because between observations and feelings, then I am giving my power away. I am saying that the outside world, that I see and hear, has the power to decide my inner experience. In doing this, I give my choice away. I am no longer free. My inner experience is determined by the other(s).
When I place my because between my feelings and needs then I am taking responsibility for inner experience. I am saying that I have choice with regards to how I experience the world. I am in my power and I determine my inner experience. I do not determine what I feel, but I do have the power to determine how I feel about what I feel.