Freedom from ‘have to’

“The only two things you have to do is die and pay taxes” is something I heard a lot growing up. I didn’t realize the depth of that statement until much later. In fact, it wasn’t until the second half of life that I realized not only do I not ‘have to’ go to school, keep this awful job, pull the weeds or shave my legs, etc, but I also am at choice about what kind of a day I will have and how I’m going to see things, what color my lenses. I get to choose if I’m going to be afraid of a challenge or go fearlessly forward, if, that is, I choose to accept the challenge at all. I get to choose whether to carry a grudge or do my self the favor of forgiving and forgetting. And again, I don’t ‘have to’ have a grudge in the first place. Oh, sweet freedom!

With this depth of choice comes the understanding that I’m in the driver’s seat, like it or not, acknowledge it or not. The great part about picking up this responsibility is knowing I can change something I don’t like. I can choose a new path, a new color or flavor. I can get a new attitude.

Stay with me now… really groking this eliminates the victum feeling of “have to”. Truly! Reality is, I choose to pay taxes rather than choosing the consequences. I don’t ‘have to’ anything. And even dying has become a non-issue since I’ve learned of my connectedness to everything and knowing there simply is no beginning or end. (yes, this body will end, but only as a small part of the bigger picture, which does not).

So I’ve talked about this before. I’ve celebrated the freedom it brings. Where I’m going is to what happens when we don’t choose. When we are stuck like glue in paralysis by analysis; thinking too hard, unable to choose this ________ because it would mean letting go of ________ that. Dance around flapping your wings for too long and you often loose both. Ut oh! No more choice. No more of that freedom.

There are also some magical moments when, if we let go of the fear of choosing/loosing and step into broader thinking, we see that yes! It is indeed possible to have both. A friend can be a lover, chocolate is nice with vanilla, lights dimmed instead of off or on. If I actively choose it and find a way to create a win/win, I can have both. I can choose to be afraid and go fearlessly forward anyway. I can choose to accept the possibility of something bigger and better headed straight for me.

Don’t trust me, try it. Choose this or that, or muster the gumption to choose both. But please, grab onto one (or two) rather than let them all float away.