Choices: They Are Yours To Make

Women Of Influence

choices“You will never make it,” she declared to me. It was as if she threw down a gauntlet and I was no chicken. Too much had already happened in my life by age 18 for me to be otherwise. This was just one more challenge to prove that I was not worthless or destined to live a life riddled with abuse of all nature and types. It was another moment of choices to make.

There were too many women of influence in my experience by then. Mrs. Portia Simpson-Miller, a leading politician in the country of my birth and later the first female Prime Minister of Jamaica, was one of them. She had spent many hours strategizing in my political activist mother’s house.

I had heard many accounts from my mother about her interactions with another. Later, I would keenly listen to many of her women-centered speeches. She was the former first lady of Jamaica, Beverley Anderson-Manley. Then there was my mother. Misguided and confused about her identity as she was, my mother was possibly the most influential woman in my life — in a very twisted way. This was something I only recognized later in my life.

Choices, We All Have Them

It was 1983 and my former high schoolmate was the one making this declaration on my life. I had shared my glad tidings of being awarded a scholarship to pursue post-graduate studies in the former Soviet Union. Looking back, this was probably the first time ‘that something’ , i.e., my heart, started communicating with me, trying to tell me,  “Enough of people telling you what or who you are!”

That Something returned to me quite often since then. This post was first published in February 2007 when “Something’ came quietly visiting again. It was after a sleepless night worrying for people who clearly were not concerned about me.  It felt as if a hole was pierced through my heart by an unfortunate and almost deadly event had occurred. Despite my pleading, one of them made some choices that would affect her life until this day.

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“Something” spoke to me as I drove to work that cold winter morning through a male friend of mine.  He told, no, rather he instructed to declare as dead to me the women who have had the opposite effect to Mrs. Simpson-Miller and Mrs. Anderson Manley.


It, “Something,” would later jump off the page of a book, “One Day at a Time in Al-Anon [Alcoholics Anonymous],” my then Spiritual Director handed me. She felt a particular quote was relevant to my situation.

The quote was from Thomas Merton’s book “No Man is an Island:”

“Although all men have a common destiny, each individual also has to work out
his personal salvation for himself …We can help one another find out the meaning
of life … But in the last analysis, each is responsible for ‘finding himself’.”

Dramatic Versus Conscious Living

My life has never been unexciting. The excitement started from the day I was six weeks old and my mother ‘fled’ the home where we lived with my father. Drama of no mean order is what best describes many of my years. Filled with television soap opera-type manipulation, outright deceit and lies and betrayal of everything sacred, I have been at the edge at least twice.

choicesBack in 2007, as I healed from the last major dramatic event of my journey, I told a friend,“I will be the brightest light! I will not fail, instead I will shine, speaking truth always and defending what is sacred.” That was my Responsible and Conscious Choice.  Gary Zukav was the teacher who guided me through. His work showed me how to make choices that would lead to consciously living my life. What became clear to me almost 10 years ago is that we can continue our roles in the dramatic productions we get caught in or we can choose how we shall live. Asking myself that Big Question, “How Shall I Live?” my choices for the rest of my life were:

  • Demonstrate honesty in all things and situations.
  • Seek justice for the oppressed, feed the hungry, give spiritual sight to the spiritually blind and shine the light of truth in dark corners (minds).
  • Help others realize that life is more than material stuff and physical and temporary pleasure (sex, alcohol, drugs)
  • Live out the real meaning of loyalty, caring, compassion, and speaking the truth the first time
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Yes, I was ready to accept the consequences of my choices. With that came the ability to look in the mirror with no shame, no regrets, guiltless and no remorse.

Living With Your Choices

Recently, I caught a glimpse of one of the persons in the most ‘riveting’ drama of my life. While it caused me pause to see that the past was still having such an impact, I reminded myself that we all have choices to make and once made, we live with the consequences.  As Merton wrote, it is not my task to save anyone. That person made a choice that I would never have made but could have made. We were both in a similar place of despair and anguish.

Life will pose these big questions and they will come in the form of choices to be made.  Be careful what you wish for, be careful of the choices you make – you might surely get it and more than you expected! And, your choices could last a lifetime.

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Choices, choices, choices.

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36 thoughts on “Choices: They Are Yours To Make

  1. Cynthia Nicoletti

    We all have our choices and choosing what is right can only happen once. It is really important to see the cons of pro before making a choice.

    1. Ms Claudette

      It is indeed important “to see the cons or pro before making a choice,” Cynthia but sometimes we just have to make one on faith. 🙂

  2. This is a great advice. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Ms Claudette

      You are most welcome Chei! 🙂

  3. MJ

    Life is one big journey filled with choices some menial others life changing but experience and time makes it easier to make those choices and most importantly to make the right ones for our own personal journey.
    XO, MJ
    MJ recently posted…Fab Quotes to Motivate and Inspire.My Profile

    1. Ms Claudette

      You got it MJ! Absolutely correct! Thanks for the visit and sharing that. 🙂

  4. Niesha Byln

    I should really make decisions very careful. Sometimes, I am being careless and ended up miserable, but that was of the past.

    1. Ms Claudette

      In every decision we make or think we are not making, we are making one. So, it makes sense to do some wisely Niesha. At the end of the day, whatever they outcome you can own it because it was your choice! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. Nicole Escat

    Oh, this is a nice read. You nailed it! Yeah, choices are should be done carefully.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Nicole! Your thoughts are always welcomed. 🙂

  6. Of course we have choices. I hate that some people think that we DONT have more than one option. There is no one size fits all – we are all our OWN bosses!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes Boss Lady! You are so right, we are all our own bosses! Thanks for your perspective as always GiGi. 🙂

  7. Consider your options. Weigh pros and cons. And make a decision. So many amazing opportunities awaiting us all.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Make a decision! Right there is the rub as some of us stop short of making the choice! Thanks for sharing Jill! 🙂

  8. love this! very inspiring. well written!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Sheena! 🙂

  9. [ Smiles ] A nice blog post pertaining to choices!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you for that Renard. 🙂

  10. Choices are so hard sometimes, they effect me, my children my spouse etc… Hard thing to do

    1. Ms Claudette

      Hard but not impossible and the more you consciously make them, the easier they become. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us Teresa! 🙂

  11. Our choices can affect our lives greatly which is why I think about mine really well. It’s important to have a clear mind when making a choice because you’re going to end up paying for the choices that you make.
    Carol Cassara recently posted…Why do you travel so much?My Profile

    1. Ms Claudette

      Oh yes they do Carrol, oh yes they do! Thanks for sharing that! 🙂

  12. Every day we make a choice as soon as we wake up to life…everything we do thereafter is a choice. Whether we believe it or not. What I know is we also dont own our thoughts. hey are a mish-mash of what we hear, read or listen to…What we feed is important from those things, its what determines our reality! Are we feeding light or darkness?
    deep post as always Claudette 🙂

    1. Ms Claudette

      Yes! We have to own our thoughts as that is where it all begins! Thanks for sharing as always Julie! 🙂

  13. Elizabeth O.

    We all have the freedom to choose, at least most of us do and that is sometimes pretty intimidating especially if you don’t know what choice to pick or to go with. But no matter, we learn by them and we also learn how to live with the choices that we make. The important part is that we choose for ourselves and not for others.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Love your last point as it is very important. Too often, too many of us defer to others to make choices for us. Thanks as always for your perspective Elizabeth. 🙂

  14. Ileana

    So good! It is true, we all have choices and need to be smart when making one!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Could not agree more Ileana! 🙂

  15. Great advise! I really enjoy reading this post. Agreed that we all have to live with our choice. That’s how our society works.

    1. Ms Claudette

      It’s also how life is. Thanks for the visit and comment Sharon! 🙂

  16. Great post! it’s important to know that we all have to live with our own choices, but also, it’s important to know that we do have a choice, always!

    1. Ms Claudette

      Exactly right, Annie, exactly right! 🙂

  17. Conscious living is very important. I agree with this.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Glad that you do Laura! 🙂

  18. Great advice. We should all think diligently on any decisions we are trying to make.

    1. Ms Claudette

      That is so very true Linda! 🙂

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