“I have no choice,” she said giving her power away. “I don’t want to do it, but I must,” she continued. “Why?” I asked. “The power of choice is yours. You don’t have to do what you don’t want to do.”
This is the conversation I had with my cleaning lady, Enid who came in on Saturday to help me. She lives in the same area and Saturday is a convenient day for both of us. Recently a friend of mine was in a desperate need of finding someone to help her with her ironing. The lady who used to help her didn’t return after the December holidays; and with a full-time corporate job, it’s not easy for her to do all the household chores without help.
I had given Enid’s contact details to my friend as a referral to assist her but did warn her that travelling from Milnerton to Tokai may be very complicated for Enid considering public transport and the time it would take her to travel.
So, when Enid came in this Saturday, she thanked me for referring her to my friend, but I could see she was troubled. “Are you sure it is ok with you?” I asked. She said no that it was too far for her and she would rather work closer to home. She gave me the name of her sister who lived close to Tokai and who would be happy to help my friend. But she told me that if my friend wasn’t happy with this suggestion that she would go. I asked her why she would go, and she stated that she would have ‘no choice’ but to go. I felt baffled by this and reflected on the times I too gave my power away to please others, even strangers. Whether it is with regards to your time, or assignments or a myriad of other things; putting the needs of others in front of your own has become a norm. Sometimes we don’t even know why we do it. Why the priorities of others are on the top of our list instead of our own priorities.
Aren’t these the traps we set in our lives, trying to please others even strangers who we have never met before. It could be because we don’t want to disappoint our current employers or because we worry about earning a living. It could be a custom, a fear or a belief. Whatever the reasons are that keeps us stuck we need to examine closely and set ourselves free from these old beliefs.
The power of choice is yours and yours alone. Everyone has this gift as a birthright. What you do or don’t do is yours to choose. Whether people are pleased with your decision or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you make the best decision for you? When you exercise the power of choice for you, you transform your life into one of joy. Because you do what you want to do and what is right for you. Don’t focus on squashing your joy in favour of someone else’s. If there is a mutual benefit for you and someone else and it feels right; the choice is easy. But when you must choose between pleasing someone else and compromising yourself; it is the wrong choice. No one’s needs or wants are more important than yours.
I told Enid that it’s ok to choose to work only in the Milnerton area close to her home. I continued by saying that by being clear of where she wants to work will happen just as she imagines it. And that life is short and that she must focus on what will please her. I am not sure if she understood all that I said with maybe too much passion. But her relief was palpable when I told her my friend was ok to phone her sister. We create heaven or hell for ourselves with our thoughts.
You are divine. We all are. Don’t give your power away. You deserve to be happy. The power of choice is yours.