On Choosing

Shortly before I met my husband, while healing from the heartbreak of a destructive love affair, I had three conversations with women in their 50’s, all of whom had been married over twenty years. Each of them told me essentially the same thing. There is no The One. You meet someone, you fall in love, you make a choice. You make a commitment, or you don’t. All of them believed there were many possible spouses for each of us, out there in the world.

I found this advice incredibly freeing. Instead of the torment of trying to figure out if my next date was the Disney Prince who was supposed to sweep me off my feet and make life happy forever after, I could, very simply, make a choice. As it turned out, there were three men who appeared in my life in the following months who I felt I could have chosen a life with. They all lived in different worlds and while I had feelings for all three of them, the choice ended up being simple. I fell in love. I made a commitment.

The brilliant thing about all of this is the choice part. Every single day, I get to choose again. Do I want to love this person? Do I want to commit to this person? If the answer is yes, then I get to ask, What will it take to stay in love with this person? To stay committed? To grow and deepen our relationship? To create our happiest life together? If I am drawn to someone else, I get to make another choice – Is it worth sacrificing my relationship to explore this attraction? If I feel there is a growing distance between myself and the one I love, I have the opportunity to decide if I want to bridge that gap and turn towards him, or turn away. It is my choice. He gets to choose me too.

There is always a choice – even when it feels like life has our hands tied behind our backs with baling wire. Stand in your power and make your decision. Right now – what are you afraid to choose?

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9 Responses to On Choosing

  1. April Morgan says:

    What a wonderful insight. Thank you Alana. I just saw this on twitter before signing off for the night. I will subscribe and look forward to reading more.

  2. Pamela says:

    Beautiful. Once I got that love was a decision, a verb, a way of being, my marriage suddenly became easier.

    Right now, I am afraid to choose to change my mind about myself.

    Thanks for these beautiful posts – they inspire me all day.

    xoxo

  3. Christa says:

    I wrote a post this morning on this very thing. Before I read this. We are so on the same path, Miss Alana, and that is a very wonderous thing for me.

    I am afraid to choose me, first.

    Love to you…

  4. Roos says:

    Phew. Feeling like not only my hands, but my feet, my legs, my arms, my all is tied behind my back..
    Not my heart though, and so here’s what I am afraid to choose: really letting my husband make his own choice about undergoing a possible stem cell transplantation – not just saying the words and deep down wanting to be heard as well.

    Right, I’ve said it out loud and now I quickly press “post comment” 😉

    • Christa says:

      Thinking of you, Roos, as you walk a particularly challenging part of the path…
      beautifully. I’ve been admiring you from afar – such grace in such difficulty.

      All good things to you…

  5. Stereo says:

    Some of the things I am going through right now, when I step back and try to look at them objectively, all come down to choice. This is an amazing way of thinking and I need to become empowered to make the right choices for my life. Thank you so much, Alana.

  6. Thank you so much for this. My husband and I just came through a very difficult couple of weeks, including several hours where I was really doubting my choice! So, it is great to read your post to get a perspective again.

    Is it just me or is marriage one of the most challenging spiritual paths possible? My marriage is very challenging, but has really made me a better person. For one, it has forced me to deal with my anger and all its underlying shame and fear, which I am chronicling for a year on my blog:

    http://yearoflivingangerfree.blogspot.com

    I hope you’ll check it out!

    Thanks again.

  7. Celina Wyss says:

    This hit home so hard. Thank you for your words.

  8. I absolutely love this post, as I firmly believe that love–in all forms, for all people–is a choice. About a year after I got married, I struggled with whether I had made the right decision. Nothing was wrong with my marriage, but spending the rest of my life with someone seemed like an overwhelming commitment. Slowly, I began to realize that while I didn’t have to stay in my marriage, I chose to do so and the choosing felt empowering in and of itself. In addition, the fact that my husband chooses to love me day after day, no matter what life throws at us, makes my choosing of him much deeper and more meaningful. The choice to stay is not always the easy one, but I personally believe it is the most rewarding. Thanks for having the courage to share these thoughts.

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