Do We Really Have Choices?

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“I am not what has happened to me. I am who I choose to become.”- Carl Jung

Choice is an interesting word. In this simple sounding one syllable word there is an implication that it is possible to decide ones’ fate. Possibilities abound within this word. In reading about Carl Jung’s early life it appears that his mother had mental issues which, to say the least, impacted him and his development well into adulthood. We all have our crosses to bear, of course. I do not like to get into a debate regarding who has had it the hardest in this life. Anyone who has ever drawn a breath on God’s earth has suffered in some way, shape, or form. Sometimes, it is the monsters we carry within our own heads and our own souls due to genetic/biological make up and sometimes it is personal interpretation of our environment which impact our ability to make choices. We see our lives through our own unique lens. It has been said that each person is their own planet unto themselves. Social/biological/cultural factors greatly impact a person’s interpretation of the world around them. These factors can impact a person’s ability to make choices.

Am I not what has happened to me?  Do I really have the power to choose what I want to become when the world puts roadblocks up in front of me?

Tragedies and suffering leave deep scars on our souls. To not admit that truth is to be disingenuous with ourselves and others. Anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder are directly attributed to a person’s past experiences, therefore, I argue that we are, in fact, what has happened to us. I argue that we are limited by the particular world into which we are born.

This brings me back to the word, choice. Choice. Do we really have a choice? How do some people rise above their life’s circumstances, while others do not? I ponder this question when I analyze my own life, and that of the world as a whole.

To an extent we do have choices. Be aware, however, that not everyone has the same power to make choices. That is where compassion comes in. I choose to show compassion to myself and to others when I consider that we do not have the power to always decide how our lives will be. We are, at times, at the the mercy of circumstances beyond our control.

Show compassion; suspend judgement when looking at other peoples’ lives. Show God’s love, compassion, and mercy. Life hurts. Do something today to make life less hurtful for others. Choose compassion.

Copyright 2020 Jenny W. Andrews