We’re curious—-what do you believe about making choices? Do you believe your life is more or less an accident and you are at the mercy of outside forces? Or do you truly believe that you always have a choice, no matter what is happening in your outside world? Possibly you haven’t thought about those two opposites and where you are on the continuum.
Here’s a story we recently came across that speaks to the point:
There was once a young rabbi who lived in a small mountain village. He was a clever young man who believed himself to be very wise. He also had a great desire to be recognized for his tremendous gift, but to his disappointment the people of the village did not honor and respect him to his satisfaction. This had left him feeling bitter and resentful.
One day an older and wiser rabbi came to the village. The clever young rabbi saw this as a great opportunity to prove that he was a wise man. The older rabbi was going to speak before a gathering of the villagers and the young rabbi decided to devise a test for him. In the middle of the gathering, the young man planned to approach the elder rabbi holding a tiny bird in his hand.
At the right moment, he would ask him the following questions: “Rabbi, I have a bird in my hand. Can you please tell me if the bird is alive or dead?” If the rabbi answered, “the bird is alive,” the young man could easily crush the small creature and hold it out for all to see, proving the old rabbi was wrong. On the other hand, if the elder rabbi answered, “the bird is dead,” the young rabbi would simply let the bird fly away into the sky, clearly demonstrating his superior cleverness and wisdom.
The next day when the rabbi sat before the assembled villagers, the young man stood up and challenged him with his question, “Rabbi, we all know that you are clever and wise. But please sir, if you will, tell everyone if this bird I hold in my hand is alive or dead?”
The rabbi was silent for a moment as everyone waited for his response. Then, with eyes of infinite compassion, he looked at the young man and gently replied, “It is up to you, my friend. It is up to you.”
The choice is always in your hands. You can move through life reacting to problems and circumstances (the Victim Consciousness), or, you can be a Creator and choose your response to life’s events—-on which TED* (The Empowerment Dynamic)® is based.
One of the easiest traps to fall into is believing you don’t have a choice, which will most assuredly put you on the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT)™. All three of the DDT roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer are based upon Victim thinking that leads you into disempowering relationships with yourself and others. The young rabbi’s inner-Persecutor tricked him into believing he would get the love he craved if he could show the villagers and the older rabbi his cleverness.
Your thoughts create your reality. You may not be able to control outside circumstances, but you can always choose your response to the events happening in and around your life.
Either life is an accident and you are a Victim to outside forces, or you can make choices that enable you to choose your response to life. What do you believe? It’s your choice.