The Things We Choose

This life is full of choices – from no-brainers to paths less traveled and hard decisions. I was thinking about this in the shower the other day (because all good brain blasts happen in the shower, amiright??), and it really struck me how much of life IS a choice. Oftentimes, it doesn’t feel at all like that’s the case – because we feel bogged down with obligations and feel “stuck” in our day-to-day.

But even in the midst of the madness, there’s a choice – no matter how small.

These are the things we choose.

The Things we CHoose - on Coming Up Roses

CHOOSE TODAY – You’ve got Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. SOMEDAY is not one of your options. The best option is TODAY – but sometimes, today isn’t realistic, and I get that. But in order to nix the excuses once and for all and to make sure you’re not using today as a scapegoat for never buckling up and buckling down, if the answer ain’t today, I need you to pick another one of the 7 and make it happen. Choose today. And if you honestly cannot foir a very legitimate reason, choose alternatively accordingly.

CHOOSE HAPPINESS – This phrase gets such a bad rap sometimes, and for good reason – it can sound like a bunch of unicorn bullsh*t. Especially for those of us who suffer from something like depression, where choosing to be happy might not just feel impossible – it might BE impossible, because brain chemicals are just like that sometimes. But. When your present happiness is riding on the back of your present thoughts, it’s up to you to choose what’s allowed in, versus what gets kicked the heck out. It’s YOUR brain, peeps! YOU are the owner, therefore YOU are in control. Even when it feels like you’re anything but – you can still hang onto the power to allow happiness in. Or, at the very least, to NOT allow the antithesis of happiness – to choose AGAINST anything but.

CHOOSE GRATITUDE  – You don’t need a million dollars or a beach house in Malibu to be appreciative. There’s always someone whose grass is greener, who has “more” of something than you. But…there’s also always someone who has less. Who prays for what you already have. It’s been psychologically proven approximately a thousand times how beneficial gratitude is in our everyday lives. Seriously, not just a gamechanger, but a life changer. Some days you might be thankful for the incredible raise at work or the partner who threw the most romantic date night – other days, you might be thankful for the roof over your head, or the good cup of coffee. It’s not about having the most to be grateful for – it’s about being the most grateful for what we have.

CHOOSE PERSPECTIVE – Whether it’s half full or half empty, it’s the exact same volume of water in the cup. THAT is the beauty of your perspective. The facts stay the same – the mood is what changes.

CHOOSE TO TRY – Robert Kennedy said it best: “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” And if you never try, you’ll never fail – but you’ll never change either. Nothing changes if nothing changes, and the next step in your life requires some change. It might get uncomfortable, but nothing good ever happens in comfort zones. So get comfortable being uncomfortable and choose to TRY.

CHOOSE TO START – Take the first step. And then, if you’re feelin’ it, take the next.

CHOOSE TO START AGAIN – Because sometimes starting over is the hardest step of all.

CHOOSE TO STOP – And other times, having the courage to say no altogether is hardest.

CHOOSE TO KEEP GOING – The semi-colon is the most powerful piece of punctuation, because it’s a sign that though everything could stop, it’s continuing onward and rightfully so. You don’t have to let your shortcomings define you, nor do you have to let your hardest battles break you. You’ve made it this far because you are a strong, capable, badass woman – you can keep going, and you will.

CHOOSE TO FORGIVE – Reconciliation is a two-way street; forgiveness is not. You might never be at mutual peace with that person again, but you can be at peace in your own heart, knowing that you have forgiven the wrongs and wish them the best. It doesn’t need to be all hunky dory – it just needs to be honest and heartfelt. You’re allowed to simultaneously forgive someone and never see them again.

CHOOSE TO GIVE – Of your time, of your talent, of your resources, in whatever way could best serve your neighbor. Which brings us to…

CHOOSE TO SERVE – The difference between giving and serving is that giving may just be giving what you want to give – serving is giving what they need. J + I learned this the hard way through the years by way of the 4 Love Languages. We’d get into it because one of us would be GIVING, and the other just wouldn’t be receiving it “correctly.” It would cause unnecessary tensions and even blatant arguments between us, because one party would be feeling like they were being totally underappreciated while the other thought they were going out of their way to give to the other. The hard lesson we learned: it’s not about how you give, but about how you serve. Giving what you feel like giving might be great, but is it truly what the other person wants or needs most? Look to serve whenever/wherever possible.

CHOOSE TO ASK FOR HELP – Because sometimes we just can’t do it alone, and that’s A-OK.

CHOOSE TO ASK FOR MORE – More help, more time, more attention, more money, more of whatever it is you need to elevate you to the next level. Ask and ye shall receive – you were made for more, and you’re allowed to step into your next space, even if that means taking more of something to get there.

CHOOSE TO APOLOGIZE – Pride is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason – it only exists to destroy. If you hurt someone, own up to it. Apologize. A simple “I’m sorry” can go such a long way.

CHOOSE TO STOP MAKING EXCUSES – Just do whatever you can, with whatever you’ve got, wherever you’re at. That’s all we CAN do, amiright??? You might not do it like she does, but you’re not SUPPOSED to do it like she does – you’re supposed to do it like YOU. So what’s your excuse? Be willing to call it what it is and cut the crap (and own up to it even BEING crap in the first place). Eliminating useless excuses can be the first step to the rest of your life, since it clears out the clutter and makes room for more good.

What will you choose today?