Saturday, June 20, 2009

Have You Voted Today?

This is a previous article
that I wrote in 2004 that
would be in the category
of "self-growth."


Have you voted today?

Huh? You’re probably wondering when this
article was written, and probably thinking
that this article is about a recent election.
Well, it is and, it isn’t.

Webster’s Dictionary defines voting, in part,
as choosing or deciding. In that respect, you
likely make choices and decide many things in
the course of a day…which means you have
probably voted several times today!

OK, so now what?

Where am I going with this?

Just because the most recent Election Day has
come and gone does not mean that you are no
longer having to consider voting. The great
thing as a human being is the fact that you
always get a vote – even when you don’t think
that what you have done has registered.

Your votes – your choices and decisions –
always register. They always affect someone,
something, somewhere. Even it’s just you in
the moment you cast your vote, or when you
choose not to. There is no greater power
than the freedom we have to always choose.

Sometimes it may not seem as though there is
anything to choose. How often I used to say,
“I don’t have a choice!” Well, I may not have
like my choices – which is a different story –
but I always had options to choose from.

I came to realize that my whole life I have
voted, even many times when I didn’t even
realize that it was going to count. But
everything I have ever done has been up for
a vote – consciously or unconsciously.

I started to realize that I could make more
powerful decisions by making them, and making
them consciously (oh, how I didn’t want to
sometimes!). However, I realized that without
my conscious vote, I was still making choices,
but often I was left feeling quite unhappy.

When something isn’t working, I now realize I
have essentially 3 choices:
- Stay with how things are
- Change/Alter my perspective
- Walk away

All 3, every time.

Looking at it that way, it makes it very
difficult for me to use the “I don’t have a
choice!” statement ever again. Oh! Sorry, I
should have warned you that was coming. After
all, if you see validity in it for yourself,
it will also make it difficult for you, as
well. The good thing is, though, you are still
safe if you want to choose to keep your
“I don’t have a choice” perspective intact!

However, if you’re open to the perspective,
what do these choices mean?

Let’s start with one very important thing
that they don’t mean. They do not include an
option to control a situation or to alter or
change another person, their attitudes, or
their perspective.

What they do mean is that the solution to
anything lies within you – and can only come
from you. Yuck! I know, it really stunk for
me what I realized that I had to stop looking
outside of myself. After all, it’d be so much
easier if the other person would just change,
or see it my way, you know?

Well, we all know how easy it is to “get”
another person to change, right?

I’ll tell you a secret, though, one of these
3 options actually has a pretty good possibility
of changing how another person acts. Can you
guess which one?

If you guess #1 or #3, maybe you have some
insight for me. My answer, though, is #2.

Can you guess why?

When our perspective changes, we change. We act
differently. When we act differently, those
around us will likely react differently to what
we do and say. Because we are not being the same
as we’ve always been, they will likely not be, either.

It was difficult to shift perspectives in the
beginning…but it got easier over time, in part
due to seeing the results. I had often heard if
you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what
you’ve always gotten. It’s a great thing – as
long as you like what you’ve got.

It’s your life, you can vote any which way you
want to. Your votes will take you all kinds of
places – places sometimes you may not even want
to be. Consider that it’s your votes that got
you there in the first place, and it’s your
votes that can take you somewhere else. Don’t
like where you are? Vote again.

In the process, also consider seeing situations
and choices in terms of “different” and in the
light of whether or not it works for you, does
it get you what you want, rather than in terms
of “good” or “bad.” It will likely allow you to
be much kinder to yourself and others, and make
new choices easier to make.

Sometimes it is necessary to get some outsider
input. Just make certain that it’s not someone
who has a stake in your “needing to change.” I
got some news for you – contrary to what others
may say – you never need to change one bit.

You can choose (vote) to stay exactly as you are.
Just make sure, though, that the person you are
gets you the things you want and need. If that
is not happening, you still don’t need to change,
but you may want to consider moving a few things
around so you can have more of what you want, and
be more of who you’d like to be.

Remember that choice comes from within, and is
not dictated by an outside source. Outside sources
will appear to limit how far you can go, what you
can do, what is possible. They can attempt to
persuade you that they have the ability to restrict
the world in which you live, but choice allows for
creativity which has a magical effect on any
situation. There is always SOMETHING you can do.

The question isn’t so much “what?” as
“are you willing?”

The world that appears around you is actually a
creation of your outward expression that comes from
that which is within you. Consider that your life,
and what you experience, is not something that
happens to you, but happens because of you.

Your life is not up to a situation you find yourself in.
It is not up to someone else.
It is up to you, and each and every vote counts.

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