“How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others” ~Steve Maraboli
For the next 10 weeks we will journey through excerpts from my book to be released on November 8th, 2014, The Chance to Choose. This will provide a sneak peek for those still teetering over their decision to purchase my book. I chose a variety of excerpts to offer a taste of the varying features that make this work unique.
Today’s excerpt comes from a conversation with my test group. These are six women who walked through The Jeremiah Method™ with me and their stories are a key teaching feature on the nuances of decision making. You will meet this Test Group in more detail by reading The Chance to Choose, but for the purpose of this post, here is one of our introductory conversations on the subject of choice:
“How do you feel about choice in general?” was the first question I asked our intimate group one Wednesday morning.
“I can’t stand it when the kids come home from school and I’ve taken the time to provide five afterschool snack options…and they don’t want any of them!” Christi spilled forth with no hesitation.
“But I love when Nordstrom has a sweater I adore in seven different colors,” Lara interjected.
“So really it’s about rejection. We don’t like choices when the potential for rejection is involved, but when it’s only about us, we like the choices,” Heather pointed out.
And so we concluded that we like a lot of choices when it comes to personal desires. Give us a department store full of options when we’re on a solo shopping spree, with our own hand-crafted latte, and we’re rapturous! But when faced with what to make for dinner or to which preschool to send the kids, we’re not all that excited. In those situations, the options seem to overwhelm us.
In the latter situation, others have now joined the mix; with more people involved, there is increased risk because they can reject our choice.
Could it be that rejection often lies at the foot of decisions we find most difficult to make?
When we’re standing at that crossroads, we see the choice as what “I” want versus what “someone else” wants. If we flip it, we can see that the choice is really, “Will I reject what I want or reject what someone else wants?” To dismiss another is often harder to swallow, especially if we fear the cold shoulder and aim to please. Decision making paralysis subconsciously occurs when we continually seek to gratify someone else.
Some may argue that this will lead to “me-ism,” a popular trend invading our Western world. We will confront humanistic thinking in more detail later, but let me respond to the argument now by suggesting that when we deny self in an unhealthy way, we nourish self in an unhealthy way. The woman who begrudgingly cooks and cleans up every meal may well be hiding in the pantry with her bottle and chocolate. She has pleased others so often that she’s lost the ability to ask for what she needs, crying silently for meaningful conversation and—if only once in a while—for someone to ask what she may prefer. She has forgotten to love her neighbor as herself”5 (emphasis mine) the way the Scripture commands. When loving herself as she should doesn’t happen, she finds companionship in the pantry, so her neglected heart might feel esteemed again.
This is not just a female phenomenon, either. As a wife, I need my husband to remind me that he has feelings and needs, too, that I often forget. The broader bottom line is that universally we waiver in our ability to stand and really assess ourselves and our circumstances. We act selfishly on a regular basis, but we also deny ourselves when we actually have an opinion about certain decisions.
…You will learn and identify with Amy, Cathy, Christi, Heather, Lara, and Lindsay while reading The Chance to Choose. For your pre-ordered copy (to arrive in less than two weeks) click here.
“The Chance to Choose is, without a doubt, engaging, interactive, enlightening, rewarding, contemplative, relevant, heartbreaking, and encouraging. What I didn’t expect was to feel included in the journey. Honestly, I felt like I was sitting with Kim throughout the book. There is an audience who will gather around coffee tables, break rooms, and park benches to share in The Jeremiah Method™.” Jacquelyne Ferrado, a CoffeeHouse Chats™ Leader
Photo Credit: Flickr (Creative Commons)