top of page

CHOICE

I choose, to be the best that I can be.

I choose, to be authentic in everything I do.

My past don't dictate who I am. I choose.

~ India Arie


Good Morning My Confidants!


I've been thinking a lot lately about choice.


And how every single day, every hour, every minute, every instant, I have choice.


I've been learning this lesson for many years, but I am getting closer and closer to a place where I am finding real peace when it comes to the choices I have. It's lowering my anxiety, my blood pressure, and who knows how much more time on Earth I am getting out of this.


It has really come to a roar and POW over the last year--through social media! I see over and over and over again the choices I make and the choices others make and how sometimes, instantly, I can see the result of those choices, and how sometimes wonderment comes from those choices, and sometimes hurt and pain and chaos. All over a decision.


I will give two very simple examples.


First, a couple days ago, after a very long wait, I finally got a new doll in the mail and I was happily stunned at how beautiful he is. A lot of the Ken dolls get short shrift when it comes to the really fancy dolls Mattel puts out. The Barbies can be extraordinary, and the Kens are often sort of...simple. Not always! I have some wonderful Kens, and most of those were gifts, so that makes them even more special.


Anyway, I was so excited, I posted pictures of him both on my Facebook page, and on a group page called Dudes With Dolls. Along with the photos I said, "For everyone whining about the lower quality of Mattel, I present...Ken! GORGEOUS!"


In no time at all, somebody commented with something close to, "Glad you are excited, but that is seriously one ugly doll!"


I was stunned. Hurt. Really hurt. And it was turning into--"How dare he!!!"--pissed off feelings. And then I remembered don Miguel Ruiz's Second Agreement: “Don't take anything personally.” The comment made by that ol' queen had nothing to do with me or my tastes (as much as the commenter might think it was), but instead was all about him. Something has hurt him and made him on some kind of level want to hurt other people. AND what's really important here is how I let his words affect me! The current world population is 8,086,619,545 as of Tuesday, January 23, 2024 according to the most recent United Nations estimates. One of them made a comment on my post that I didn't like. It was followed by a number of comments of people congratulating me and telling me how lovely my new doll is. And I let one Internet troll hurt me. I allowed that hurt.


And I had a choice!


This is what I said to him (well, I admit, it was just a bit meaner, but it took me less than a minute to edit it): "I want to thank you for slamming something that I am so obviously excited about, something that has brought me a lot of joy,"


Just a short while later, his comment was gone.


Now my ultimate goal is not to engage with someone like that at all. But for now, I am proud of myself. And if he had lashed back, isn't it nice that Facebook has a block feature so I never have to see him again.


Okay now! Second example!


I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw this meme.


For those of you who know me at all, you will know that the cold and Ben don't get along. So much so that for years, this kind of thing actually triggered (triggers?) me. I would find myself commenting nearly every time with a long diatribe on snow and how awful it is and how people fall down in the snow and have to scrap their windshields because of it and have car wrecks in it and then go on about how I hate wearing layers of clothing and sweating under all those layers and....


But this time I realized I had a choice!


I had several in fact.


I could scroll on by, but instead, after mentioning that I couldn't wait for weather in the 80s, and she responded with "Nooooooo," I said this....


My condolences on how the weather treats you. It was a really--PING!!--moment for me when I realized that the way we feel about temperatures is more than just an opinion, like I like purple and maybe you like green. It was during this winter's two or three weeks of near zero and sub-zero weather and how I could not do anything. I could barely get up off the couch to go get me something to drink out of the kitchen. In the house, heat blasting, layers of clothes that I was sweating like a pig in, and I was miserable. The cold SUCKS the energy and LIFE out of me. And then suddenly I remember those people who talk about how the heat SUCKS the energy out of them. And I was like, Oh! For me it's more than just I hate snow and trying to get around in it and stuff like that. I feel ill and even nauseous when it gets cold. We are different, but we are the same. So, I want you to know that I empathize and sympathize with you. ❤️


Now both of us get the respect we deserve out of expressing our feelings and opinions, and I didn't invalidate her obviously deep feelings about the cold through a humorous way. I saw that, we are different, but we are the same. I engaged her as a fellow human being.


I have choices.


I do not have to engage in an ugly conversation. I can choose to ignore offensive people. I can choose, when I am offended by something someone says and want to ride that wild bronco off a cliff in self-righteous anger, to instead......let it go.


Because me engaging these offensive people? It does nothing. They just lash out right back at me. I don't change their minds. I get up and more and more upset. Anxiety and anger and hurt and even feelings of vengeance surg through me and I wind up feeling like shit!


When I could have said, "Nope! I will not go there!" and looked for posts of puppies or turned off social media altogether and watched some Big Bang Theory and laughed a lot.


Choices.


"The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response. A number of physiological changes occur during the relaxation response. Heartbeat and breathing slow down, the body uses less oxygen, and blood flows more easily through the circulatory system. Blood lactate levels, which some researchers believe are linked with anxiety attacks, decline markedly." *


According to the Mayo Clinic ,**relaxing and calming ourselves, "can lower stress symptoms and help you enjoy a better quality of life, especially if you have an illness." Relaxing benefits us because it...

     

Improves digestion

Controls blood sugar levels

Lessens activity of stress hormones

Increases blood flow to major muscles

Eases muscle tension and chronic pain

Improves focus and mood

Improves sleep quality

Lowers fatigue

Boosts confidence to handle problems

 

That’s some pretty good reasons for choosing not to ride the wild bronco of hurt, anger, and offense!


And I felt so much better, inside my body and my head and my heart and my soul when I didn't engage those people in hurtful ways. Small steps in getting me to where I want to be!


I am writing this to help me remember.


Maybe it can help you as well?


Peace and love to you all!

Namaste,

BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas



"I Choose" ~ written by Mark Christopher Batson, India Arie, Andrew Luis Castro. For non-commercial use only.










20 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All

2 ความคิดเห็น


Jean Stuntz
Jean Stuntz
02 ก.พ.

The only person you can control is you. You control your responses. Choosing to remain calm and loving is a wonderful choice. 🙂

ถูกใจ

Will Jones
Will Jones
02 ก.พ.

Dont ride the bronco! Ride the cowboy.

ถูกใจ
bottom of page