As we celebrate the special holiday in the United States that marks our freedom and independence as a country, I can’t help but reflect on the personal freedoms that we have as individuals living here. I am so grateful for the rights that I am guaranteed and that I think that I so often take for granted. I know that I am so fortunate to have the freedom of choice that so many other people in this world will never know. That is why I want to reflect on this particular gift in this moment.
As I look back over the choices that I have made in my life, I am really satisfied with them as they were always made with the most information that I had available at the time. As with everything in life, we learn and grow as individuals each day and if we obtain additional information as we go that may be in conflict with something that we previously thought about a situation or individual and if that information is detrimental to us and/or other family members, etc., then we can choose to change those circumstances. However, it is very hard to make wise choices for ourselves when we get wrapped up in the emotions of a particular situation. And this seems to happen most often when those emotions are blame and guilt.
You have the right to choose whatever you want for yourself because you live in a country that guarantees you that freedom.Barbara Jacoby
How many times have you heard adults justifying their behavior or choices by suggesting that what they chose to do or believe was the result of what they were taught? Or what about those who choose to do something because someone else told them to do it? They are so busy blaming someone else for their choices that they completely miss the opportunity that they had to create a better outcome for themselves.
Similarly, when someone makes a decision that results in a less than successful outcome, they may respond by feeling guilty about it. But why should you feel guilty? Unless you choose to do something that is harmful to someone else, there should be no guilt involved. You did the best that you could with the information that you had and if you find out later that things were not as they appeared then you have the choice to change those circumstances.
This holiday hopefully will serve as a reminder that the independence that we celebrate for our country can be ours on a personal basis as well. You have the right to make choices that are best for you. You have the right to be a victim of your circumstances if that is your choice. You have the right to blame others for your situation. You have the right to wallow in self-pity for the situation in which you find yourself. However, you also have the right to be happy if you choose.
You have the right to create the life that you want. You have the right to treat others with kindness and love. But, most importantly, you have the right to choose whatever you want for yourself because you live in a country that guarantees you that freedom. I hope that you choose well.