Spiritual growth and development can be daunting at times. Making changes, or coping with change is always a challenge, but it pushes me to grow and evolve. Change and its consequences are enough to frighten anyone. If possible, I make plans, but I don’t always know the results of change before they happen. I can’t control everything, but I have learned to manage change with greater confidence. It’s one of the most reliable self-management techniques I use for living my destiny. When faced with a difficult person, place, object or experience, life has taught me that there is always a choice, and often more than one.
Friendships thrive on common ground. Without it, the friendship can die. I can choose to stay with it and search for other combined interests. Or I can choose to leave a friendship behind me if I have changed, or the other person has changed, or both of us have changed. Personal values can change. Personalities change with them. It’s not always my right, role or responsibility to change another’s behaviour toward me and my new interests that hold no value for them. Or I can view the friendship as I do the seasons of nature. It has cycles and rhythms of summer, autumn, winter and spring. There are periods of growth, decay and growth again. Each option gives me the power to choose my response to my friendship.
This is what I’ve discovered. There are four basic choices I’ve realised when I think I have no choice at all. Recognising I have no choice is a big prompt for me. When I realise that I think I have no choice, I use it as a trigger to turn to one of my four choices. When I am not happy with a situation, I can leave it, I can change it, or I can change my perspective about it. Ultimately, it means I can choose to change my response to it. There are consequences to every choice, but once I choose one of these options, I can then examine the potential consequences of my choice. If my conscience can live with the consequences, then I make another choice. I choose to make my decision.
Whenever I think I am helpless, or I am not in charge of my situation, I remind myself that there is always choice. Then I start to feel empowered, instead of disempowered. I am back in charge. My sense of self-management expands and so my confidence returns. I can then decide to change my behaviour toward the other person. In the case of my ailing friendship, I can choose to initiate the search for new common ground in an effort to reinvigorate the friendship. I can choose to continue the friendship or not.
I have to keep reminding myself that regardless of the circumstances, whether they are good or bad, there is always a choice. If choice is not clear, then I revert to my four basic choices. I have to be creative about how I navigate the road to spiritual growth. I need to keep a firm grip on the wheel of life. Instead of life being out of my hands, and at the mercy of bad luck or fate, when I realise my power of choice, I put myself back in the driver’s seat of my destiny.