The Ugly Side of Choice
I’m overweight (but I’m working on it!). Why am I overweight? Because I chose to be. I don’t mean I sat down and decided to be overweight. However, when I stopped working a job that had me burning up to 5,000 calories a day, I chose to keep eating the same.
I’m in debt (but working on that too!). Why? Because I chose to be. I chose to spend more than I was earning.
Choice is a powerful tool, which we can use for good or bad. Choice can make your life better or worse. It’s common to think/claim we’re victims of circumstances beyond our control, but this is rarely the case. Our choices frame our lives. Our refusal to choose also frames our lives. For example, what if I choose to put myself one “emergency” from financial disaster? When an “emergency” happens, I have no one but myself to blame for the resulting financial crisis. The emergency wasn’t my fault, but I chose to put myself in a position where something out of my control would wreak havoc. When I choose a plan that only works if everything goes just right, I’m asking for problems.
We do this in our marriages too. We choose to build our marriage on a weak foundation because we don’t want to take the time to fix it. We choose a lifestyle requiring so many work hours we don’t have enough time for a healthy relationship. We choose to spend so much time with our electronic devices we fail to interface with our spouse. We choose a life so busy we don’t have time for the sex we desire.
Your current marriage situation is the result of the choices you and your wife made in the past. That includes choices made before marriage. However, if past choices are still limiting you, it means you’ve not chosen to work past them. You’re not a victim of your marriage; your marriage is a victim of your choices. You may be a victim of your wife’s choices, but you still have choices. Have you chosen to go along with her bad choices? Have you chosen to remain silent when you should have spoken up? Have you chosen to accept something you should have rejected? Have you chosen to agree to keep the peace? Have you chosen to match her bad choices rather than being better?
If you want to change your life, you must own your choices. Admit where you made wrong choices, and change. Make the right choices, and stick to them.
Two years ago, I chose to stop adding debt and started paying off debt. We’ have made great progress. A couple of months ago I decided to stop eating too much and start losing weight. I’m down 24 pounds. I have to keep making those choices every day to keep making progress. It is not easy, and it’s certainly is not fun, but the results are worth the effort.