Friday, March 11, 2011

I choose.

There are moments when it seems trivial to write of mundane matters, of everyday affairs, of personal dreams and aspirations. When wars are waged in the Middle East and earthquakes and tsunamis pound Far Eastern shores, it feels as if the world is collapsing in upon itself, and my musings have little value and effect.

I give my head a shake. Take a breath.

I don't write here to calm wars or troubled seas. I write here to calm me, to claim my peace of mind.

It is in times like these that it is vital and important to write of heart matters, to dream of peace and love, to work for peace and love, to breathe into the pain of a world in upheaval and pray... for peace, for healing, for calm to be restored so that homes can be rebuilt, lives reclaimed, life re-engaged.


Yesterday a friend wrote and asked, What else could you do every morning at 6am other than be at the computer blogging? i.e. is it the best use of your considerable energy and talent.

I'm sure there are other things I could do. But I like doing this. I choose to do this. It brings me pleasure, keeps me living on purpose and connects me to a world of beauty and wonder and amazing people. Writing here every morning keeps my writer's fingers nimble, my mind engaged, my spirits lifted. Writing here is what I do. Writing here is something I do every morning just for me. It is my choice. It makes me happy.

Years ago, a therapist I was seeing asked me to close my eyes and imagine I was sitting under a tree, resting in the heat of a hot summer's day. Someone approaches and offers me an ice cream. "What kind of ice cream do you choose?" he asked.

I thought a moment and said, "Lemon Gelato."

"Why Lemon Gelato", he probed.

I had to think of a 'good' answer. I hemmed and hawed. "Because gelato's got fewer calories than ice cream."

"Why else?" he asked.

"I like lemon."

"Why else?" he asked again.

He was beginning to tick me off. I struggled to find more reasons and did -- find more reasons.

Finally, he threw up his hands and exclaimed, "Louise! Stop. Do you see what you're doing?"

I looked at him, confused. "Answering your question."


"Because you asked me why I chose lemon gelato. I was telling you why.

"Do you need to justify why you're choosing lemon gelato? What business is it of mine? Who gives a damn why you want lemon gelato? What's stopping you from stating, 'It's my choice?'"

And that was when the truth hit me. In my need to answer his question was my victim's voice.

In my constant searching for the 'right' answer was my victim's place of feeling obliged to explain myself. In my answers were the clues to my feelings of being less than. My need to 'find the right answers' so people would like me.

The power is in my choice. The power is in claiming I choose what I choose because I do.

The power is not in my justification of my choices.

That day, sitting in my therapists office, listening to the tick tock of the clock on the mantle, hearing his voice pound me with questions I scrambled to answer was, and still is, a huge lesson for me. A big leap of understanding. Of self-enlightenment. Of inner knowing.

I have often defended my choices when all that was required was a simple, "I want to." "It's what I choose." or even, 'Thanks for sharing', and leaving it at that.

I still struggle to stay out of my victim's voice when faced with having to stand up for my choices, stand up for my right to choose what I believe is best for me.

And I'm growing, deeper into my position of knowing, I have my answers. No one else does.

It was an important question my friend ask me. "What else could you do every morning at 6am other than be at the computer blogging?

In the question, I am reminded once again -- I am powerful when I stand up for me, without defending my right to stand, without explaining why I'm standing and not sitting down, without justifying my need to stand, or sit, or fall, or walk away.

I am powerful when I stand up.
I am powerful when I sit down.
I am powerful when I fall.
I am powerful when I walk, towards, away, under or over.
I am powerful.
When I stand
in my 'I'.

I am grateful for the clarity that comes with knowing, I do what I do in my life because I choose to do what I do.

My life. My choice.

And I believe in my choices for me.

I trust others to be doing in their lives what is best for them to do, that what they are doing is the choice they want to choose to create more of what they want in life.

I write here every morning because I choose to.


Maureen said...

Thank you for a fabulous reminder: "It's my choice."

Louise Gallagher said...

Thanks Maureen -- I thank my friend for reminding me -- It's my choice!

Yeah! We have choice and that is more than many people in this world.


Anonymous said...


First, your yesterday SHINING BRIGHT piece is today's feature at ...good work!

Second, the reason you write every day is because you have something to say - that's between your belly and the page, the rest of us are simply voyeurist groupies peeking into each crevace of you - part nosey, part curious, part learner - stimulated by your thoughts.

The reason you do it when you do is because you do it when you can. You should no more explain or feel accountable to anyone abou that than you should explain why you like lemon gelato (aside from it being the BEST!) choice.

Writing is what writers do.
Singers sing.
Painters paint.
Little boys play in the sandbox.

It is what we do.

Keep on keeping on - and thanks for letting us watch . .



Kathleen Overby said...

I have been teaching myself, then my girls to say yes and no. Only that. Putting a period after 'no' is quite the discipline. The not explaining why part. Great insight.

Cheryl said...

Just what I needed today. Thank you, Louise. It's my choice is my new mantra (-:

Claudia said...

i also tend to explain and justify what i do - so this was a good reminder..
writing is a kind of therapy for me as well, a place to look back and ahead and "touch" my soul for a moment

Louise Gallagher said...

Mark -- thank you! I really appreciate your comments and your posting Shining Bright at 360boom!

Kathleen! The . after the No. or Yes. -- it is so powerful. Like, I apologize. Period. No justification. No but... I apologize.

Awesome insight -- thanks.

I'm joining you in that mantra Cheryl -- it is so powerful!

And yes Claudia -- my own personal therapy track -- writing :)

Hugs everyone.

thank you!

And another reason I write here -- I get to interact with such incredible people!

S. Etole said...

I enjoy your choice ... every day! Thank you.

Fi said...

I echo all of the comments above. They are the most powerful words 'because I choose to'and I love that you remind us of the important things every day because 'we choose to' read your wisdom.


Brandi said...

Oh sweet friend, I am SO thankful that you blog at your computer every are such a light to so many people!

Have a fabulous weekend doing what you choose :D

(and thank you for the lift up at Jesse's place...we're Paleo buddies!)

Joyceann Wycoff said...

Who gives a damn why you want lemon gelato? How powerful that is. It is our choice and because it's our choice it's powerful and perfect ... even when the results it creates take us places we might not want.

We love having you here every morning bringing us food for soul. Thank you for making this choice ... may it long be one that feeds you as well as us.

JTS said...

THis was such a powerful reminder to me, as so often I allow myself to feel discredited when others don't understand my choices, or I get caught up in trying to justify them. I will remember that "because it is my choice" is a good enough answer in the future.. the most true and correct answer. All other answers are vain attempts to try to convince someone else, when there is no need to. Indeed, what does it matter what they think, it is my choice! Excellent post!!! said...

So glad you DO choose to write. Thanks for reminding me I don't have to explain or justify.

And how bizarre is this -- my prompt for this quote is "mametali" which I take to be "Mama to Ali" -- which is all about your wonderful subsequent post on love (she is my PMS monster, and always still loves after she is done blowing up at me...)

Louise Gallagher said...

thanks Josie -- "It is my choice" used it this morning -- very powerful!

LOL Diane -- how serendipity is that? Pretty cool!