Choices. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about choices and how they affect us whether we are directly or indirectly involved in the choosing process. In everything we do (and don’t do) we communicate a choice. I can choose to get up early and spend some time in prayer or devotion or I choose to stay in bed a little longer. I can also watch Netflix instead of working on my writing projects or programs.
As women, we need to understand the importance of communicating our choices. If we don’t we force other to do the choosing for us. And each time we fail to communicate our choices, we give up bits and pieces of our power and autonomy.
Not that having others choose for us is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it’s necessary or helpful, too. I recently went to this trendy restaurant with a friend where everything on the menu was exotic to me. My friend being more experienced about ethnic cuisine made a choice based on her understanding of my likes and preferences. So at times, it works in our favor to have others help with our choices if supports us in making informed ones that will lead to our satisfaction in the end. Of course, we do have a part to play in this process. My tastes and preference formed a guide of sort to what my friend suggested and I ultimately enjoyed.
On a more serious end though, deeper that a dinner menu, as women we have a tendency to let others choose for us. We stay too long in relationships that fail to serve us, we work for people that don’t respect our time and our talent. Many of us have little say in what happens in and around us. Simply because we fail to exercise our right to choose. Do I stay in a marriage to an abuser and cheat or do I divorce this man and continue moving forward with my life? That was a choice I made. Do I keep working with clients that don’t align with my core beliefs and values because I have bills to pay or do I let them go and do work that makes my heart sing? Another choice I recently made.
No one said making choices was going to be easy. Often, choices come with examination and thinking. We have to examine our situations, think things through, maybe even pray and seek advice. For some, this may seem as too much work especially when it may be so much easier at time to sit back and let the chips land where they may. Or we procrastinate until our hand is forced. But why should we let the chips choose or a forced position determine how we go about our life? We need to value our lives and ourselves to the point where we decide that we can’t leave it to happenstance. We need to be engaged in it. Because to do otherwise we not only fail to live mindful, involved lives, we run the risk on accepting or settling for less than we deserve. Consequently, we accept relationships that hurt and diminish us. We accept business relationships that cause us to toss and turn all night.
Today I’m inviting you to examine how you communicate your choices. And I hope you choose to be involved in the process.
Agree? Disagree? Want to share a point? Then feel free to chime in below.
Carlana Charles is the visionary and editor-in-chief of FemmePowered. She is a womanist, writer, speaker, story midwife and facilitator of meaningful and engaging conversations. When she is not working in or on FemmePowered, she can be found resting, baking, reading or scribbling furiously in her journal whilst sipping wine or coffee, sometimes both at the same time. She is currently working on her first book and hopes to release it in September 2017.