February 9, 2011

How Choosing Can Make All the Difference

The fact that we have the freedom to change “is hard to face up to, so we tend to invent an excuse by saying, ‘I can’t change now because of my past conditioning.’ Sartre called excuses ‘bad faith.’ No matter what we have been, we can make choices now and become something quite different. We are condemned to be free. To choose is to become committed: This is the responsibility that is the other side of freedom. Sartre’s view was that at every moment, by our actions, we are choosing who we are being. Our existence is never fixed or finished. Every one of our actions represents a fresh choice.”

I came across this quote in one of my textbooks and it seems so well timed given the most recent postings I’ve made regarding reshaping who we are and being mindful of our moments. I particularly like the idea that our existence is never fixed or finished. In relation to the outcomes of abuse or trauma, it can sometimes seem like we are just stuck with these results. As I work with clients, one of the main hurdles to overcome is the idea that they have no choice in how they think, respond, or feel.

So, just a gentle reminder that, whatever your past experiences, you are not condemned to forever be in a fixed state of reliving or rehashing.
If you could choose to give up a way of thinking about yourself or others that has resulted from abuse or some sort of hurt, what conscious choice would you need to make?

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