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Choices we Have : We have Choices

a guest post by Selma

Photo by Dani Vivanco on Unsplash

Choices

You look in the mirror.

Because you’re looking for them, you’ll see one more wrinkle, find one new grey hair, think of your thigh as uneven and feel your butt as too soft. You’ll see all that because that’s what you’re looking for.

You ask: where’s the girl who was here yesterday?

If you’re smart, and we all know you are, you’ll reply:

here she is, but today she’s better than she was yesterday.

And you’ll be right.

The girl that you remember appearing in the mirror yesterday is gone. Today, the one you see is a stronger, smarter, wiser version than the one who was here yesterday.

And you better believe this is the wiser way to look at yourself.

As we touched on in my last article, The Change that Shakes us, where we talked about how:

-we’re exposed to change daily. It comes to all of us regardless of whether we’re ready for it or not,

-midlife being a time of rebirth; a time to accept life.

I want for us to keep those points in mind, but today I want us to talk more about ‘choices.’

How we Choose

How we choose to think about the change will determine how we deal with the experience. If we choose the path of least resistance, what I call, the lazy way, I think we’ll go through this change with little grace and almost no joy. A limiting choice. See, gravity never releases its pull on us. Gravity is alive. It will overwhelm.

But the lazy way, or the autopilot way if you like, is certainly not the only way. The mere idea of choosing to believe that there is another way will open possibilities that will make room for miracles.

Midlife is the Age of Miracles. Marianne Williamson

What happens?

Gravity will still exist but the choice of switching to the belief that a different path is possible will open neurons and synapses in our brains causing a new wave-frequency to arise from that choice.

Midlife is not new territory. It’s something we’ve lived with from the beginning of time. All cultures have prescribed norms. We can choose to go the culturally prescribe route or choose to open up and make room for a little positivity to enter.

Werner Hans Erhard, founder of est organization (Read about him here:) summarizes the way we deal with changes in two phrases:

-we can live our lives acting out of circumstances

-we can act out of a vision.

Which will you choose?

I’ll go with the notion that you’ll choose to act out of a vision, a new vision because you’re smart and because I know you know that though the circumstances of age are fixed, our experiences of them are not.

Thoroughly unprepared we take the steps into the afternoon of life; worse still, we take this step with the false assumption that our truths and ideas will serve us in hitherto. But we cannot live the afternoon of life according to the programme of life’s morning; for what was great in the morning will be little at evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie. — Carl Jung, Stages of Life.

In last week’s article I told you that I used to think of midlife as the turning point toward death and acted out my fear of death by holding on to my yesterdays for dear life. In vain. But once I gave up thinking of midlife that way and switched to thinking of it as a turning point toward life what followed was liberating. I alluded to imagination as a purveyor to making the switch and this week again I’m sticking with letting my imagination soar in order to ‘Embrace Mid-Life!’

I’m not pretending that death will never come to me. Of course it will. But until then I will live life in ‘live-mode’ giving my life all I can give it. Because midlife is not a time to shut down but a time to get started. I’ve come to understand that yesterday no longer has the power to determine how I live my todays and my tomorrows.

We’ve had struggles, we overcame them; we’ve stumbled and fallen in all sort of ways, we got up; we were there — we were the young crowd, now we’re here — the mature ones.

Maturity is synonymous with optimism. Not the kind of optimism we experienced yesterday when we were the young ones, but the kind of optimism that makes us raise a knowing eyebrow that speaks of bittersweet and experience and knowing.

Sure we’ve lost some things that we would have wanted to hold on to forever, namely our youth, but we’ve also gained others, namely that knowing eyebrow move, along with a whole lot more that we didn’t even know existed. Tell me this isn’t so! Tell me!

And folks, these new fabulous things we’ve gained wouldn’t be making us so optimistic if we hadn’t let go of what we knew and hadn’t dared to embrace the unknown. It’s true that something has ended but it’s also true that something new — something better and stronger has begun.

-we can live our lives acting out of circumstances or,

-we can act out of a vision.

Which will you choose?

THANK YOU FOR READING
I Wish You Miracles.

Selma Writes is a retired English teacher with 20-years of teaching English as a second language to children. She lives in Japan with her husband in a suburb one-hour south of Tokyo. They have two young sons. You can find her on twitter: Selma Writes or on her blog as above.

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Writing to help our practice of mindfulness. “We are all walking each other home.” is my favorite quote from Rumi and I believe it to be true. We are all on the journey, some have walked before us, some beside us and others behind. For those we are the guide.

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