Freedom of Choice
Choosing the Direction of Our Lives
BY: T. Franklin Murphy | August 2018
Our futures are not set in stone. We can adjust the outcome, work through current consequences from the past and set our lives on a better trajectory.
We have a choice. Our futures are not determined. Tomorrow is a new day (not free from the past), but an opportunity to redirect our direction and experience a brighter future. A few better choices don’t magically erase a mischievous past—consequences will not be cheated. We must face the reckoning from misdeeds done. The past will impact the present. We gain wisdom from the trials; but only when open to the lessons taught. But futures are not set; we can intervene, changing the narrow trajectories from exacting punishments to bounteous blessings.
If your current trajectory is not palatable, you should examine your current circumstances, exposing destructive adaptations, and pesky feelings pushing for harmful reactions. Once identified, we can mindfully address issues, while simultaneously working through the difficult lingering consequences. This is difficult. The potter must draw sufficient resources to maintain true while forming a more desirable life.
Past neglects may require retying fraying bonds of trust at home, at work, and with institutions. A momentary determination to repair a shattered life doesn’t bring back to life relationships that we trampled. Trust often requires years, not months, to re-establish. A hurt spouse may continue to scrutinize behaviors fearing repeated betrayals long after confessions, sorrow and change.
"You can break through old limits, past inertia and fear, to... richness of choice, freedom, human closeness."
Many relationships fail to recover; the conscientious repentance, followed with loyalty may not receive the blessing of trust, our work is then complicated acting right but not receiving the blessing. This is the pain of a lingering past. Hurtful actions sting and naturally create new barriers.
The best predictor of the future is the past. To change we must draw sufficient strength to remain committed, not allowing the difficult course to erode determination. We must continue, if we want change. Bankruptcy stays on your record for seven-years; infidelity—maybe longer.
When we break trust, going back on our word, we don’t adapt to other’s hesitancy making new promises, marked with stronger assurances. Our words will lay hollow. But this is often the first inclination. Trying to repair broken trust with stronger promises; “this time,” we say, “will be different.” But if the heart hasn’t changed, our promises lose their power, quickly forgotten once we receive the benefit sought.
Relationships must be rebuilt with kindness, giving with out expectation of return, slowly re-establishing the character we tarnished.
"If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right."
Doing right doesn’t magically erase the past but as new behaviors accumulate, we create brighter futures. New opportunities present themselves. We can burn the new bridges too if we failed to learn from the damaging choices of the past. We must accept the past, for it is done, and love the present because it is here and patiently work towards a future of richness and joy.
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