CHOICES – why do I make the choices I make? why do people I know make choices which I would not expect them to make? why does a seemingly rational person all of a sudden become irrational (in my estimation)?
It is important to understand where choices come from, that a choice is not always a decision made in a moment or a recent timeframe, but is often the result of unconscious beliefs based in an allegiance that is a foundation we rarely consider or are even aware of in our decision-making process.
ALLEGIANCE . . . devotion to some person, group, cause or the like is the general dictionary definition—
IT IS the foundation of my existence from the very beginning.
IT IS step one with my first breath before I can speak, before my first conscious thought.
ALLEGIANCE to ME is the foundation of all my first “communications” and expressions of my demands as I attempt to conform the world around me to ME and force it to meet my needs. “I” am at the center of-a l e g “I” a n c e-from my birth onward.
BELIEFS are based in that allegiance. My belief that I am the center of the world and my demand that everyone around me serve my needs demonstrates where my allegiance lies from the start. “I” am at the center of -b e l “I” e f s.
CHOICES are obvious when you realize “I” am at the center of -c h o “I” c e s-
based on my beliefs
founded in my allegiance.
These “steps” never change as we “develop” through the years. Problems that arise usually come from a crack in our “foundation,” our allegiance. Many teens experience this when they decide parents are no longer deserving of their allegiance and move on to “peer pressure” forming their beliefs and dictating their choices.
As we enter adulthood, our allegiance changes, sometimes due to disappointment with our allegiance and sometimes slowly with no obvious “reason.” The old “my family has always . . .” is heard often as the reason.
When someone does something “out of character” to those around them, it is often because a crack or a major change occurred in their allegiance which totally disrupted the “security” of their beliefs to that point and, in that unsettled state of beliefs in flux, their choices were no longer predictable.
If we never stop reacting and repeating without examining what we believe and why, we might never understand how we came to be who we are or where we are.
One of our strong needs seems to be the need to be understood and accepted. Others cannot do that if we do not dig deep enough to understand ourselves.
Introspection—observation or examination of one’s own mental and emotional state, mental processes, etc; the act of looking within oneself—can be helpful and sometimes a person trained in this field can assist in the process, friends who care can also bring helpful insights, and carefully “filtered” exchanges on social media can help us look at ourselves without getting bogged down in the process or getting darkness instead of the light that can come from exposing ourselves to ourselves without condemnation.
Digging deep into what allegiance drives us, forms our beliefs, and ultimately guides our choices is vital to taking back the responsibility for and the privilege of making choices. Knowing we have choices can empower us IF we understand what beliefs our choices are based on.
Allegiance is a foundational choice and should be made first, consciously, slowly, with an awareness of its far-reaching “governing” impacts on us and those around us and should always be exposed to the test of those we trust.
Inner peace can come from exploring the A-B-Cs, the steps can lead to knowing ourselves and can enrich our lives by shining light into the dark corners—walking in the light is indescribable freedom.