September 15

FREEDOM MONTH: DAY 15: “There is always a choice.”

“You mean I could choose certain death?”

“A choice, nevertheless, or perhaps an alternative. You see I believe in freedom. Not many people do, although they will of course protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.” ― Terry Pratchett

Wouldn’t this be a great conversation to have with your children? Or to have had with our parents? Or them with theirs? Sadly, in this Western culture, we are not given the idea of personal freedom at this level.

Most parents are too busy telling their children what to do and how and when to do it. They seldom give them the freedom of truly choosing for themselves. So much is assumed.

“Of course you will go to college and study _______.” “Of course you will fall in love and get married by the age of _______ .” “Of course you will have _____ children.” On and on.

They are programmed like small computers, and no wonder teen suicide is rampant, along with addiction and other socially-imposed ideas about life. We are programmed and trained NOT to make our own decisions. We ask 10 people every time we choose something. Like they know. They do not. We have psychics and fortune tellers and read our horoscopes as if they hold answers for us. We go to advisors, priests, ministers, therapists and others to get our answers. Never knowing that freedom of choice is one of the things we most value inherently.

I rebelled against parental controls from the time I was born. In so many silly and important ways. It did not get me where I wanted to go, but I do know that it strengthened me in interesting ways as well. My anger at control began very early. And I paid prices that should not have been assigned to the things I was doing. However, I was always willing to pay the prices. Still am.

Today I see that there are other ways in which I can free myself from the shackles of popular opinion and old ideas. That is what the steps give me. Freedom from addiction, sure; but more importantly, freedom from the co-dependence that is strangling our culture so horribly. Freedom from the control and manipulation that so many people call love. The conditions and contracts that are imposed in relationships with toxic people, fearful and demanding people.

I love this stuff! It is so healing to become this kind of free. To have REAL choice in all matters, even when we have decided to let it all rest in the heart of that loving Power. Yay!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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