Let Your Choices Awaken Your Soul

We live in a free universe. This is good news and bad news. The good news is that you can choose anything you want in life. The bad news is that you have to live with your choices! Of course, you can always change your mind and choose something different, but our choices oftentimes have long-term consequences connected with them.

I decided to try out a new coffee shop today. It is a local shop and looked interesting and rather than always go to my tried and true mega-chain coffee shop that always makes a perfect cup, I thought I would try something local. The first shop I bought mocha from was—well—to be honest; I had to throw it out. But I was really, really in the mood for a hot mocha, so I decided to try another coffee shop in town. This time I ordered the small size, just in case. It was so-so. At least I could drink it. Next time I will be going back to my tried and true friends who always make a great mocha.

It was tempting to not spend another $3 to get a drinkable cup, but it was a bad choice that was easily remedied. I’m $3 poorer, but my efforts were not a total loss. And besides that I learned where the best place in town is to get a good mocha (which I obviously already knew).

Sometimes we make choices that are not so easily remedied. To make a different choice in marriage, work, or relationships can be difficult and costly. But there are many times when we simply need to make a different choice. Going through a divorce is a change in the direction of your life that is complicated and costly, but is often the only way to continue on a path of your soul’s calling.

There are times in our lives when we come to a crossroads and realize that in order to proceed that we must part company with some of our fellow travelers along the way. This is rarely a fun experience and trying to gracefully exit any type of relationship is fraught with problems and the inevitable rash of hurt feelings and a sense of betrayal.

Rather than viewing people in our lives that we need to have some distance from as the enemy and the villain in our lives, it is so much more helpful to be able to see them as having been our teachers. Of course, this takes some maturity on the part of the individuals involved.

I have to admit it has taken me many years to come to this perspective. I felt like a victim for a long time. But in retrospect I can view my “failed” relationships as times that helped me to understand my own soul needs better. My “teachers” have not always been kind, but they have taught me what I need to know about myself. In reality, they have prepared me to serve those that I am here to serve. This understanding is what really opens the door to forgiveness and acceptance. When I am no longer a victim to someone else, I can become a victor in my own life.

This is so beautifully illustrated by the story of Cinderella. (See previous post) The true beauty of Cinderella is not her physical person but the growing and blossoming of her soul—her personhood—her essence. This is ultimately what all of our choices help us to learn—who we are and whom we are here to serve.

Anything that helps us to learn the essence of who we are is something to be grateful for. Our teachers are sometimes costly and dear but obviously necessary. If there had been an easier route to knowing—I’m sure we would have all taken the easier path. The choice that is made more seldom—the road less traveled—is actually learning from our choices the valuable lessons that are in them.

Life gives us experiences—learning from them is optional. But there is such redemptive value in gleaning a lesson from a painful experience. It is truly the silver lining. In reality, it makes me wealthier not poorer. I can live in gratitude to all of my fellow travelers because they have all taught me the beauty of my own soul.