Choosing life

At every moment, we stand poised at a threshold, with a choice to make.

Do we choose life, awakeness, and responsibility for ourselves and those around us?

Or do we choose to be asleep, on automatic pilot, reacting out of habit, fear, familiarity?

Neither path is easy.

And it’s certainly not always straightforward to tell which is which.

The path of habit might give us reassurance, comfort, and apparent stability at the cost of our integrity and the longing of our hearts.

The path of awakeness might take us far from home before it brings us back again. We might have to face the mind-boggling consequences of our own aliveness. And we might have to experience uncertainty, confusion, shame, great joy, and the terrible and amazing wonder of writing our own stories.

Many times, despite our intentions, we will find ourselves choosing the path that we did not intend to choose, which always leads to another choice. Turn towards ourselves with kindness or harshness? Own up to our own responsibility, or pretend it’s nothing to do with us?

And all the way through we have to face that what happens in our lives has less to do with which path we’ve chosen than we’d like to think. The path of responsibility is no more certain to lead to riches, success, or security than the path of being asleep.

No, which path we choose is little to do with how life will turn out for us, and much to do with what kind of person each of us gets to be. And that is one of the aspects of being a human being in which we all get to have a say.

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