Gifts and Challenges

Free will. Most of us like the idea that we have free will. I get to choose pretty much every nano second of every day how I want to live my life. The word in that sentence that gets us into trouble is “I.”

Who we really, truly, in our heart are is something many of us never discover. We so often become who we think we should be. We construct a version of ourselves we feel will be acceptable to the world. A version that helps us feel safe and loved by parents, teachers, friends, religious leaders, society, employers, your own favorite. We want to be somebody in the eyes of anybody. Will you love me now? Am I good enough yet?

So, in our desire to please and be accepted we give away our true free will. We honestly believe we are making choices from our own soul. Many times this just isn’t so. Consider stopping and asking yourself some hard questions. Do I even know who I truly am anymore? In my heart of hearts is this what I really want to do? What roles am I playing? Do I feel I must earn love from others or do I feel I’m good enough just as I am? Where in my life am I trying?

How often do we exercise our free will in ways that harm us? What foods and drinks do I choose? Are they healthy? How do I choose to spend my time? Who is in my life, are those relationships nourishing? Do I get an adequate amount of rest? Do I listen to my body and soul?

Conversely, how do I care for, honor and nourish myself? What makes my heart sing? Can I joyously spend time alone? Do I slow down and tune in? Can I be OK with who I am if no one else in the world is OK with who I am?

So, free will, is one of our gifts and challenges as we walk through this life. We can be like teenagers who just left home and are now out in the world on our own. At last, we get to do exactly as we choose! Problem is we have limited choice making experience. Some of us are awake, aware and learn from our choices. Some of us never seem to look in the mirror and realize most of our problems came to us from choices we made. Making choices and gaining wisdom – maybe the purpose of free will?


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