"The choices we make will determine whether we pass on the sludge or the wisdom to the next generation." - Caroline Myss
Once we reach adulthood the name of the life game is choice. Somewhere around age twenty or so we move out of the child position of complete dependence on others into the adult world of independence. Funny thing is, even though our bodies reach adult size, we sometimes still think we are helpless children.
We can still think we “don’t have a choice” when we make life decisions. “I know I have diabetes but I didn’t have a choice about eating that pie, it was so good!” “I didn’t have a choice about hitting him, he pushed me to the brink.” “I know I’m out of control with sex, but all men are.” “I had to find the rent money somewhere, that’s why I broke into the house your honor.”
When we are stuck in childhood we tend to pick a new parent to blame or justify our bad choices: the government, the boss, the judge, the school officials, the police, the landlord, the husband, the wife, the. . . fill in the blank—anything but take responsibility for the choices that created the current set of circumstances.
Let’s be a little compassionate here. If we were knocked around as a kid emotionally, psychologically, or physically, we might not have been given the tools to take on this thing called true adult hood. We could be “developmentally delayed” due to what we didn’t receive in terms of love, support, and guidance as children. We could end up in the body of a thirty year old with the mind of a sixteen year old—wondering what happened and blaming the world for our problems.
We might have to seek out a mentor, therapist, or guide that can help us learn to grow up, be accountable to our actions, and live in integrity. For instance sometimes people will complain about not having money and make only half hearted attempts at getting a job. A person might be sleeping around and complaining about their lack of relationships. Someone might have an alcohol problem and wonder why they are depressed all the time. It can help for another adult to look at these people and say, “You are creating this by doing what you’re doing, stop it.”
To be fair, there are an alarmingly low number of true adults in the world these days. Many people are out to get there’s with little regard to how it effects others, society, and the planet as a whole. A child in an adult body can be a dangerous combination: greed, environmental degradation, addiction, domestic violence, obesity, wall street corruption, politicians in bed with lobbyists . . . the list is seemingly endless as to the damage those who don’t grow up can do to themselves and others.
The idea of taking a hundred percent responsibility for our lives can seem daunting but if you want to lead an empowered, fulfilling life, its required. Otherwise it is very easy to feel like a lost child in the world.
Depending on our choices we are going to end up in pain or wisdom says author Caroline Myss. Our bad choices always catch up to us regardless of how well meaning we may have been, or how innocent we believed ourselves to be while making them. We will either master our decisions and guide our lives with wisdom, or learn how much suffering it costs us not to. She says we have to walk our talk, live an integrous life. We need to be honest with ourselves and others at all times. Myss advises that we make the choice to take risks—not hunker down and play our cards safe to avoid humiliation. This hunkering down can lead to a death grip of stagnation on our lives. Myss further recommends we change our choice of words and stop using “blame", “deserve", and “entitled” . She is talking about how we use these words to shun responsibility and think someone else should take care of us, give us what we want, and tuck us into bed.
You are a strong adult, capable of more than you know. You can make the wise decisions, take the responsibility, and be a beacon for others. If you need help getting there just ask. The world is full of coaches, therapists, mentors, sponsors, and business advisors to help you on your way.
Below Caroline Myss gives her Ted Talk on Choices at the Findhorn Foundation. Take a look: