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Everyday is a new day for choice!

Everyday is a new day!

Everyday is an opportunity to make a choice. Am I thriver or a victim? What is my intention for today? How can I interrupt my cycle of pain today? What kind of day do I want to have? Am I going to suffer through it or take whatever opportunities to thrive?

I believe we all have these choices in every moment no matter what the circumstances we find ourselves. So how do I make that choice?  Can it get easier? Yes, it is like a muscle that needs to be developed and exercised. Every time I can be at cause in my life, the more I am able to do it.  Every time I am at effect, I lose power. Two powerful tools in making this happen are proactivity and intention.

First is to know that I want to choose– intention and confidence that I can.
I want to live a full life that brings joy, healing, laughter, and meaning. {Check}
I want to live responsibly knowing that I am responsible for my reactions. {Check}

Second, I have to make choices that reflect these intentions and take action.

I do my stretches, take my medications, meditate and I call a friend and make a date to go to tea or just chat on the phone making sure laughter and connection are at the center of the interaction. {Check}

Third, I live in the present with an understanding that what is, is what will be.
What I choose today in this moment will move me closer to my desired way of being or will pull me away from it.  {Check}
I take a walk and play with my dogs.  I choose healthy habits that I know are good for me. {Check}

But still, those nagging thoughts of, “it’s not fair!” and “I don’t deserve this pain!” creep in.  I can feel the cloud of depression and overwhelm in the corner of the room and my mind. I choose to breathe and remember that I am not alone, that the separation is just an illusion.  I am connected and I can shine a light into the cloud and know that it doesn’t have control over me.

The more times I practice this, the easier it becomes to do.  But it is not 100%.  That is why I know I am not a saint, yet!  (Ha-ha) I know I prefer to feel I have choice and that choice supports me to feel more alive, more joy, more blessed, and to laugh more.  I can also choose to wallow.  And there are times, days that I do.  Not very often but when I choose to, I go for it!  Yell, cry, roll into a ball.  IT ISN’T FAIR!!!!! Well what is fair?  Things happen.  What is, just is. This is hard for me to understand but when I think of the alternative, it would mean that I did something to deserve my pain, to deserve losing my massage practice, etc.   On a bad day I can go on and on about what I have lost, what I have suffered.

But on a good day I can remember that there are gifts with each of those losses; that I could never have become a thriver if I didn’t have the obstacles and barriers to overcome.  Being a thriver has allowed me to discover my resilience, my persistence, my courage, and my compassion.  It has led me to my new vocation of working with others who have chronic pain in a new way. I know from my own experience what it can mean to live with pain.

I also know that everyone is different.  I learned that quite literally through my decade of massage practice and from my partner who also has chronic pain.  We are so opposite in what works and what doesn’t even though we have a similar diagnosis.

Now I am able to know that I can choose to stay in suffering or be stoic or be a survivor or a healer or a thriver at anytime.  Each time I make a choice that brings me closer to what I want, the closer I am to being that more easily. The muscle of thriving takes time, choice, and persistence.

The gifts of thriving are beyond measure. I can support others because of what I have been through.  I have a sense of accomplishment and joy with the small things in life. My pain has diminished, as I have become more of a thriver.  I don’t know that will be true for everyone but it is hopeful!

Check out the 5 essentials for mastering pain!