If You Couldn’t Make Choices
Every time I see my neighbor who’s a quadriplegic, I think to myself, I bet she’d give anything to have a choice about whether to exercise or feed herself. We take so much for granted as we muddle along, especially using the easy way out and deciding by doing nothing and letting things happen. Letting the chips fall becomes a way of life.
Think, what would life would be like if choices were taken away from you? As the saying goes, use it or lose it! Do you live as if you have forever to be different—unconsciously, blocking out how your food intake in (or lack thereof) might damage your future health? It’s one thing to be present to the moment; it’s another to be barricaded in it and act as if now is all you have. Consider this question: If you had to be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life, would you consider it a chore or a drudge to exercise? Or would it be something you’d miss doing and value? My guess is that most people would get out there and move their body parts if they truly understood that at any time something could happen to prevent it.
I’m not trying to alarm you unnecessarily, but the truth is that this could be your last day walking around on two fine, serviceable legs or eating with two functional arms and making food choices. Every day you’re alive and well is a gift. Every day is full of options about what to do, how to act, what to say, think, feel, and eat. Yet, generally, it’s only when choice is taken away from us that we fully understand how little we take control of our lives. When we’re told to act as if today is the first day of our life, it means that we can always change and do things differently, begin fresh and anew. However, there’s also value in thinking about today as the last day of life as you know it.
What are you doing or not doing now because of inertia and fear of change? How would you feel if your decision-making power were snatched away from you tomorrow? For those of you who rigidly control your food intake, what if someone told you that after today you could never eat again—ever. Would that really be okay? For those of you who insist you can’t stop eating, would you be fine with being fed junk food for the rest of your life? For those of you who focus on food rather than feel, would you honestly be willing to give up experiencing all your emotions from now on and ever after?
Take an inventory of what you take for granted in the food, feeling, and exercise arena, thinking I’ll start tomorrow, I’ll do it differently next week. Do an inventory, then begin exercising your power to choose today.