The Moment Choice

There comes a time when the pain of continuing exceeds the pain of stopping. At that moment, a threshold is crossed. What seemed unthinkable becomes thinkable. Slowly the realization emerges that the choice to continue what you have been doing is the choice to live in discomfort, and the choice to stop what you have been doing is the choice to breathe deeply and freely again. Once that realization has emerged, you can either honor it or ignore it, but you cannot forget it.

This realization puts you into new territory—the territory of self-responsibility. You can no longer blame your discomfort on others. The power to continue or to stop is fully in your hands. Your pain becomes a matter of your own choice. To stop the pain requires changing yourself—changing your need to please or dominate, to be right or wrong, to be strong or weak. At risk is an image you have created and sustained but that no longer serves you—the image of one who is considerate or arrogant, simple or complex, tender or practical. No image of yourself can survive the realization that it is causing you to live in pain and fear.

When you will stop what you are doing is for you to decide. Your need for approval or to push others away may provide you with the only security, or pleasure, that you have. You may not be ready to give up the activities, judgments, and thoughts that are familiar to you. The attraction of pleasing others again, making all well again, shouting louder again, being smarter again, and so on will call to you. At the same time, the new world that you have glimpsed will call to you, also. To step into it requires abandoning an obsolete role.

What is the moment of choice? Each moment is a moment of choice—a time to leave the old, the limited, the restrained, and the contracted for the new, the unbounded, and the liberating potential that expands before you. You cannot stop making choices. That is what your moments are for.