“It’s a choice.”
“You chose that.”
“Life is an out-picturing of your choices.”
I so often hear people comment on the circumstances and challenges of others with some rhetorical version of the above. It most often sounds and feels dismissive. While at a level I would agree that our life experiences are indeed a reflection of our choices it is not as tidy as the surface mind would have it be.
Over ninety percent of consciousness is in actuality unconscious. That is a staggering number. Which means ninety percent of our choices are being made from an unconscious level. That number decreases as we begin to spiritually awaken. And the truth of the matter is that all of us are living with the effects of what were unconscious choices at the time.
Choice is always a matter of consciousness. As our level of conscious awareness increases so does our ability to make conscious and mindful choices. The effects of our lives are incredibly valuable in that they let us know what we do not know. The effects are showing us what is in our field of consciousness, what is contained in that large percentage of the unknown. These effects are often painful and disturbing. Even so, they teach us to go more deeply within and to learn to become more awake to how we are using and misusing the immutable laws of consciousness.
As beings with reptilian brains, we go into reaction numerous times in any given day. When in reaction we are triggered and disturbed, therefore response and choice are impossible. We have literally “gone lizard.” There is emotional distortion and clarity of choice is obscured.
The recognition of this dynamic can lead us to self-awareness and self-regulating techniques that can then bring us back on-line and make choice once again available. This requires both psychological and spiritual discipline and practice. Persistent meditation is incredibly vital to building an internal pause into our energetic system. This pause gives us the chance of literally choosing choice.
Remembering this dynamic and recognizing that choice is always equal to our current level of consciousness allows us to apply that pause to how we respond to other’s circumstances. There is nothing compassionate about telling someone who is troubled that “they chose that.” That is a closed hearted reaction that reveals more about the commentator than it does about the experiencer.
Choosing to respond with compassion is an indication of our own increased level of choice. And perhaps that is the height of being able to choose choice.