Choices face us every day and, yet, we often act on autopilot when it matters most.


We choose when to wake up, what to eat, what to wear, and where to go and when. Each and every day, we make choices about these tangible things in our lives. And, more often than not, we make them consciously.

We also make choices about what to think, but how conscious are those choices? Most of us operate on autopilot.

  • Don’t like what someone says? How do you respond? As a victim, with anger, curiosity, or concern, what about a rebuttal?
  • Don’t like how someone treats you? What do you think? Not my problem, maybe they are having a bad day, maybe I am having a bad day? What do you do? Stay out of their way; tell them what you think; remove them from your life?

This past week my husband told he didn’t think “I was there for him”. Well, in the past those would have been ‘fightin’ words’ for sure.

Imagine that! How could he? How dare he? After all I’ve been, done, etc…

Instead, I chose to respond: “what do you mean by ‘not there’?” He proceeded to tell me, and it was very different from my perspective of ‘not there’. I took the opportunity to thank him for explaining that. I also had an opportunity to share how I saw it differently. No anger, no tension, no negatives – simply dialogue.

What opened up was a real chance for intimacy that we hadn’t had previously. We each learned something about the other. Some of it had to do with our previous spouses... We respected our differences. We were truly happy to take the time for each other in that space. What could have started out as a fight turned into a moment we could each continue to cherish as we proceeded with our day. Imagine that!

How will you choose to think and respond? If you typically sit and stew, get your courage in gear and ask for clarity. If you are quick to anger, think about how else something could be interpreted. After all there many more ways than the one you might initially choose.

I had a friend who told me once ‘there are a hundred different ways to say no’ at the time I only knew one. Today, I remember that statement and think about how I want to relate to the friend, family member or colleague and choose…

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Donna Cerame August 02, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Great post! The most subtle shift in perception can change ones life.
Shelley Emling August 02, 2012 at 01:22 PM
I love this post too .. have had the exact same thing happen with my husband but, unfortunately, I did not react the way I should have reacted!
QBY33 August 02, 2012 at 01:34 PM
Exactly the post I needed to read this week! Now time to reflect on how I could've reacted differently than I did....
Donna Cerame August 02, 2012 at 01:38 PM
Oh, don't beat yourself up Shelley! Noticing that you reacted the same is a great start. Next time the opportunity arises, you can make a different choice, then notice what's different. In noticing what's different, you allow more 'different' to show up in your life, opening up infinite possibilities. The universe loves to play when we are available in this way and magic happens!
Jean Grossman August 02, 2012 at 02:09 PM
every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow!


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