February 2012
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The root of the word ‘option’ is from L. optare, to wish or desire.  My old and new Websters both define option as “…the power to choose”.

We easily take for granted our many routine ‘options’. How we spend our money, who we hang out with, where we live, what we do with our ‘free’ time, what we eat, how we dress, who we vote for, what spiritual path we follow, these are options in the true sense of fulfilling our desires or wishes.  Having the right and the freedom to choose is an enormous power.

There are often times in our lives when we feel we have no choice, no options.  We feel trapped.  Trapped in a job, a marriage, a relationship, an addiction, a dynamic, even a physical limitation.  We can’t imagine that we have any other ‘option’ but to keep things as they are.  Very often it is fear that keeps us bound to circumstances we don’t really desire.  Fear of the unknown, fear of what others may think of us, peer pressure, social mores, religious beliefs, all these are influences that can mask the fact that we have options.

Facing how much free will and choice we actually have is a scary proposition.  For example, acknowledging that we are not, in fact, trapped in a bad relationship, that we have no obligation to remain a victim of circumstance, means making a conscious decision to stay or to go.  We come face to face with our fears. Regardless of what others may say or do, the decision is ours. We are responsible.

It is a good thing to have options whether we exercise them or not.  Consciously acknowledging to ourselves our power of choice, the full potency of our free will, the real scope of the options before us is not only empowering but frees us from many traps.


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