The ability to choose is the greatest gifts given to us from our Heavenly Father.
We can choose to feel love.
We can choose to feel peace.
AND we can choose the opposites.
That’s the beauty of agency.
It’s what makes us the happiest AND what can bring the most pain.
What are you choosing?
I thought I understood agency.
But I keep hearing new and interesting things that show me that I still have a lot to learn.
Agency is not just making a choice between good and bad.
As I’ve been learning more about agency, I think my favorite thing I’ve learned is that I have the choice to believe whatever I want.
And that includes how I choose to think about any given circumstance.
I actually have a choice how I want to feel no matter what is happening.
It isn’t out of my control.
The gift of agency is so much bigger than I ever gave it credit for.
I recently found a talk given by Thomas S. Monson back in 2010.
I’ll leave the link to that article in the show notes.
He broke Agency down in to 3 categories:
#1: Right of choice
#2: Responsibility of choice
#3: Results of choice
I thought these categories were very interesting.
Even though our RIGHT of choice was a gift from God, it comes with RESPONSIBILITY and the natural RESULTS of that choice.
To completely use this gift for the best outcomes in our life, we have to remember all three.
He quoted David O. McKay who said: “Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.”
I think it’s so amazing to think that everything else in your life can be stripped away from you but the RIGHT to choose can never be taken away.
When it comes to the second category: RESPONSIBILITY, it reminds us that we cannot remain neutral. There is no middle ground. When you don’t choose, you have made a choice.
I am grateful for my belief that I can ask God to help me with my choices anytime I want and still choose if I’m going to go with what He directs me to do.
I still have the choice.
But I also feel the responsibility to choose well.
Sometimes I may choose what feels easier, sometimes I choose what I feel is ultimately the best for me, but either way, I get to choose.
In the classic story of Alice In Wonderland, she comes to a crossroads of two paths that go in opposite directions. She asks the Cheshire cat which way she should choose.
The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”
When we choose our path, we choose our destination.
It does take a lot of courage sometimes to make the harder choice.
But when you are focused on what you really want (which is why it’s so important to be able to answer the question, “What do you want?”) the choice becomes easier.
The last category he shared was RESULTS of choice.
Every choice has a consequence.
Some consequences are bigger than others.
For example, What you eat for lunch is a much smaller consequence than how you speak to your friend.
Try to think of some choices you’ve recently made and the RESULTING consequences.
Thinking about the possible RESULTS in advance can really help you make different choices.
That’s why consciously choosing how you want to show up in different situations BEFORE you’re confronted with them can make such a big difference.
In Camp Connection, one of my favorite programs I teach, one of the tools I teach about that you put in your First Aid Kit is LOOKING FORWARD.
Looking forward is taking time each morning to look forward to what is going to happen in your day, and consciously choosing how you want to show up for each thing. It has helped me on so many occasions to be more positive, patient and kinder when it’s not necessarily easy.
If you haven’t taken Camp Connection yet, and you feel like this could help you in your ability to improve your emotional health, you can register at http://hunkeedori.com/camp
I’ll put the link in the show notes.
We have the ultimate say in our choices. No one can force us.
We all make incorrect choices sometimes. And sometimes we don’t even know the extent that they were incorrect until we are able to look back and look at the RESULTS of the choice.
That is what is so hopeful to me too!
There is always a way to start again. To correct a bad choice.
I was just watching one of my favorite movies of all time, Anne of Green Gables, and was reminded of a quote I just love:
“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”
Doesn’t that just give you so much hope?
Hope that you can always start again.
And hope in the fact that you will probably make another incorrect choice, AND it’s totally normal.
Sometimes that incorrect choice was to allow others to make choices for you.
Life can get overwhelming, and you cope with that by letting others choose for you.
I’ve done that.
Until I learned some skills that help me get stronger and was able to start again, fresh, and ready to speak up for what I wanted and needed.
The ability to choose love has always been within you.
But because we have agency to make choices, we don’t always choose to follow that love.
I have found that when I choose against love, I find myself in uncomfortable situations.
But here’s something I have also learned.
Those uncomfortable and usually hard situations have taught me to see things from a different point of view that ultimately strengthen me and help me to become a version of myself that I didn’t even know existed.
Choosing love does that too…but in different ways.
I get to choose the way I look at situations.
Do I try to see things through a lens of positivity or negativity?
Why does negativity seem to be the more natural lens?
I don’t think that’s true with everyone, but it’s something that I struggle with.
I am trying to choose positivity more often and become a more naturally positive person.
I like who I am and how I feel better when I choose to be positive.
I like how I show up for others when I am in a positive mindset.
I am more patient.
I can see other’s good intentions when I look at them with love.
That’s how I want them to see me.
I want them to know who I truly am so that they’ll be more patient with me when I’m not in a good place.
So, If I want them to do that for me, I must be willing to do that for them too.
These aren’t conscious choices sometimes.
They can happen in a split second.
When things get crazy in your life, did you know that you have the ability to choose peace?
When you are emotionally healthy, you can choose to look for the good in any situation.
This happens more often when you have practiced taking a step back from situations and realize what information you’re taking in that is true, and what is just your interpretation.
When you take the time to do this, you are more able to see the positive and take positive actions moving forward.
Only humans have the ability to assess a situation and decide what it means.
We are NOT at the mercy of our circumstances.
Our agency allows us to choose what to do with the information we are taking in.
Isn’t that so cool!
When I was living life on high alert all the time because my emotions were out whack and I reacted without the ability to assess a situation, I felt like I had lost my ability to make choices.
That is no way to live and if you’ve listened to any of my earlier episodes, you know my story of how I was able to get back in control of living according to my priorities.
If you feel like you have no say in what is happening in your life or have lost the ability to makes choices, this is a critical time for you.
The truth is, it’s probably more your perception of your situations instead of the facts of the situation.
May I suggest a few things you can start doing today to get back in touch with your basic gift as a human… your gift of agency.
First thing I’d suggest is setting aside a half an hour with a pen and paper and just start writing.
Make sure you’re in a place where you won’t be interrupted. And just start writing.
Write all the thoughts that come into you head. Don’t hold anything back.
Keep that pen going no matter what. Yes, you may have to write, I don’t know what to write here and there, that’s totally ok.
If you keep the pen moving, thoughts will starting coming to you. Write those down.
Don’t edit yourself thinking that you don’t want anyone to read what you write. You can shred these pages as soon as you’re done.
Be an observer of what is happening.
You may or you may not get anything of consequence that first session. But keep showing up.
You will start to see that your TRUE self will show up and start talking to you through your writing.
Writing allows your thoughts to slow down so you can process them in a way that makes more sense.
You can have an argument with yourself as you look at your thoughts from different perspectives.
So many different things can happen as you write.
That’s what makes this worth doing.
AS you do this writing, you may see choices showing up that you have made that you actually like and some that you decide aren’t what you want any more.
This is good for you to know.
If you’re like me, you may see that some things that you thought you were forced to go along with but they we’re actually what you want.
When you look at them from a more positive place, they don’t seem out of your control.
It changed so much for me and the way I felt about my life.
I recognized where I was really using my own agency. I felt more like myself than I had in a long time.
If this exercise doesn’t seem to bring you some peace in your life, and you’ve tried it consistently for a month, a few times a week, then I’d like to offer my help.
Sometimes we need an outside perspective to help us see things we can’t see on our own.
I would love to be that person for you.
Sign up for a 30-minute consult with me and we’ll find at least one thing you can try that will help.
I have proven principles that I can share with you that will help you find peace in your life.
Go to hunkeedori.com/consult to choose a time that works well for you.
I can’t wait to meet you and help you get back into your life as an emotionally healthy person using her agency… the greatest gift we’ve been given.
Thanks for joining me here today and remember:
I see you. I understand how hard you’re trying, and I’d like to help however I can.
Have a wonderful day and I’ll see you back here next week.
Article by Thomas S. Monson: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2010/10/the-three-rs-of-choice?lang=eng
Tip Tuesday Video Link: https://youtu.be/_cxMy6SJ7V0
Watch this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/hQwZ50LHmg0
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