Monday, March 21, 2011

What I've Learned

By B. Stuart Noll All Rights Reserved
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How many times have you been told, "you have a choice?" I ask you now, how did you respond? There have been so many times that I felt like I had no choice, that I was trapped in the place where there was only one way out and as terrible as that way out was, it was the only one that remained; the only one!

As I look back on this type of thinking I realize the worst part wasn't the feeling I felt. The worst part was inadvertently choosing to spend the only energy I had believing something that was absolutely ridiculous. My "choice," or lack of awareness of "choices" caused depression, sadness, lethargy and a rage associated with being trapped like a wounded animal with no way out except fight or flight. Worse yet, not only would I never regain the time I spent in that depression, I was unknowingly choosing to develop a neural pathway for thinking the same thing or types of things over and over again!

If I had had the awareness to see the consequence of choosing possible alternatives, I would have saved so much energy, stress, struggle, pain, unhappiness and discord, not to mention the irreplaceable resource of time. I had, quite frankly, lied to myself - and believed it! Who would have thought that so much adversity could emanate from one thought or one seemingly innocent series of thoughts. It was never my intention to hurt myself or others yet that was, in some cases, the outcome of not guarding my thoughts or my way of thinking. Is that true for you as well?

This brief article is not intended to be all doom and gloom. My intention is simply to emphasize the critical nature of being aware not only of what we think, but our thinking processes as well. I encourage all of us to be cognizant of what we are thinking and choosing as well as how we are thinking and choosing as I believe it has been proven they both have a profound impact, not only on our own lives but, on the lives of all those with whom we come into contact. We are connected!

I ask you not to take my word for it. I ask you to seek and discover for yourselves the ramifications of your thoughts. Has your way of thinking served you well? Are you content with the outcomes of your thoughts? Is what you are telling yourself in your idle chatter true? Examine your thoughts to know if what you believe causes you to make choices that contribute to what you want or if what you think is actually an impediment to your own happiness. It was for me.

Life is a fabulous journey, a voyage through charted territory that we have somehow forgotten. There is a destination to which we are desperately trying to return. The sea upon which we travel is vast, adventurous and largely unknown. The fragile vessel which carries us through this limited time of exploration is steered by our thoughts; the rudder of our direction. With all of this there is something else that no other creature on earth possesses. Of course, this is the power of choice!

It is my conclusion that our level of consciousness - our ability to carefully weigh, consider and examine the thoughts and thinking that feed our choices, is a force sufficiently powerful to demand our attention. Why? Because left unattended, our conditioning or subconscious thought becomes the power behind the rudder. We can be the captain of our fates, here anyway. It is of our choosing. I hope that after reading this short piece you will, at least, consider that you do have choices, often many more than originally apparent, and with some conscious thought you can guide your ship to the port you call home! Bon Voyage!

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