Every action, every word, every thought is a choice we make and for which we are responsible. What we seldom realise is that we have always been choosing. We may have been conditioned by others to make certain choices – and to make them over and over again – but we always had the freedom to make different ones, no matter how limited that freedom may have seemed. We have been choosing for so long, and doing so thousands of times every day, that our choices have become automatic, passive, unconscious, habitual. Over time, familiar pathways gradually become furrows, deeper and deeper, so that even if we become aware of them, it can seem too difficult to find a way out.
Fortunately, the way out is also a choice. A different choice. Years ago Karaj told me that if I wanted to get well I just had to choose. (I wasn’t making the best choices back then.) At the time I couldn’t believe it was possible to make a decision to be healthy and have it happen, but I lacked the insight into what it actually means to choose in that way. We have to choose fully, to believe completely and to embody our choice as if it were already in existence (which, of course, it is – somewhere). When that happens it’s as if life has no choice but to come with us. In that instant we are the creator of our new reality. It’s effortless, but all-consuming.
I was reminded of this two weeks ago (when I had the pain in my foot described in the previous post). I was spending time with a friend who had called me because he was having a problem, which for months had been taking more and more of his energy, and creating increasing confusion, frustration and heartache. We chatted, and at one point he said to me, ‘I wouldn’t have been able to handle this if I hadn’t read your book’. It was the highest compliment and validation of my work, but it was more than that. It made me feel as though this is what I am here to do. My body pulsed with an energy which surged through the pain and discomfort, cleansing it and replacing it with the kind of health and well-being for which I have been wishing for so many years.
In that instant, I saw that this feeling – this energy – is available to me all of the time. My friend had been the catalyst but the choice is forever there. When my mind drags me down a dark road, there is always an alternative, waiting, with its engine running, to take me down a different pathway. There are all sorts of choices I can make. The choice to relax, for example. Or to let go and release every thought, feeling, and obligation; every contemplation of the past or projection of the future; and ultimately every connection with our own identity, in order to sense the freedom and unbounded potential of emptiness – free of the burden of everything our previous choices have brought us. From that place of infinite possibilities the rest is simple.