Choices

I have moments in my life where I feel my spirituality press me more than it usually does. Call it the universe, call if God, call it divine purpose, but some messages come to me so clearly, that I can’t help but acknowledge them and do my best to see how this message can apply to my life.

The message of choice has really come up for me lately. In my work with my clients, in my work with myself, and my work in my relationships. Choice is making itself known.

My favorite yoga teacher at the yoga studio I’ve been going to usually works in some wisdom into our practice about choices. For those of you who do yoga, we were about to go into our third wheel of class (in essence, a back-bend) and I was dreading it. Wheel is definitely not my favorite. Then she said, “Do it or don’t do it. Suffer or don’t suffer it. It’s your choice. You choose your suffering.”

I ended up saying something similar to a client later in the day.

Then, I went to the AMHCA conference. I attended a 3-hour workshop about paradoxical choice in reality therapy. I really had no idea what I was walking into, but I had a peer who was interested in going so I tagged along. I got more out of it than I thought I could.

I’m trained as a humanistic therapist, which basically means I’m client-centered. I operate from my client’s reality. Sure, we have clients walk in the door who may have altered perspectives on their world than what we might interpret, but that’s the point. It’s the client’s perspective and not my own. I’m not in the practice of teaching others to live the way I live, I’m working to help them live how they want to live.

Anyway, in humanistic therapy, we’re discouraged from giving our client’s choices. Some feel that’s stepping out of our client’s realities into our own. I hesitate to provide choices to my clients because I want them to understand how to operate without me in the future. I want to empower my clients.

I still believe I can do that, but after this workshop, I became less gun-shy about distilling choices for my clients.

Lastly, I watched this TED talk:

There’s really no point of this blog post other than to convey the message that we always have a choice. I spent years thinking that because X happened to me, then I had no choice but to act and feel the way I felt. I felt entitled for a life of no choice. It’s selfish to think we don’t have a choice. We have to be unkind to people because they are unkind to us, we have to believe a certain thought because we had it, or we have to choose a certain life because people want us to do so. Even when circumstances are beyond our control, we always get to choose how we react to it and how much weight we give it in our lives and minds. We are never without choice and most of the time, we don’t need so many options. We don’t need to worry about the 45 different forks in the road to take, we just have to take one and let life happen. We’re usually more happy in the process then if we sit around forever thinking about “what if”.



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Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in Counseling Skills, Individual, Mind, Randomness
Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

About Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a mental health counselor newly residing in Seattle, Washington. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection as the cornerstone of my professional ideology, along with the healing possibilities of puppies, a good glass of red wine, the smell of a new book, and the importance of travel.