We always have a choice.
Those five words are one of the most invaluable things I have learned as a two-legged.
The first time I learned the weight of those words was in Edmonton, three years ago.
I was walking to Remedy, one of my favorite chai shops when a homeless man approached me and asked me if I would buy him a coffee.
I said sure and entered Remedy with a friend of mine.
Halfway up the coffee lineup I felt someone standing very close to me. I felt some anxious, unclean energy and felt someone fidgeting in their soul—too close to me.
It was the homeless man who had come inside the coffee shop.
He stood behind me asking, “Are you buying my coffee? Did you get my coffee? Don’t forget my coffee.”
I remained tensely in front of him for a few minutes until I arrived at the cash register and placed my order.
I felt pissed off at him, handing him his coffee—drained from his energy and the experience.
I resented saying yes to buying him a coffee. I resented him being in my personal space.
I got into my car and turned to my friend and complained—playing the victim.
In the moment the homeless man had come inside and stood behind me, I had a choice.
I could have chosen to turn around and say, “You’re making me uncomfortable standing so close to me. Can you please wait outside or move a little away from me?”
I could have made a choice to move to a different area of the cafe while our coffees were made—taking space for myself.
I could have left.
I could have also accepted that maybe, in that moment, what he really needed was to feel close to someone—and surrendered some of my personal space for a few minutes.
All of those choices would have made me accountable for the discomfort, resentment and frustration I was feeling.
I have now applied that lesson to all areas of my life—to relationships, friendships, moments with strangers and in business.
I recently had someone write me and ask for advice on how to start doing what she loved.
She listed a bunch of things stopping her—and the only word that I saw and heard and read was “victim.”
To all the humans who choose to exist/live life from the place of a victim:
I am not a therapist, nor a coach—so know this advice just comes from some sucker on the other side of the screen who is figuring out, daily, how to maneuver through this world.
A human who fucks up often, drops the accountability ball and sometimes still does play the victim.
I had to choose to quit living the life I didn’t want to live and take some accountability for what I love and what makes me happy.
To be a victim means not to make the free choices that align with what we love and what we need to do for ourselves, and to blame it on external circumstances—to place the accountability of us not living our truth/what we love on others.
We have a choice every second of every day how we we will exist.
We choose what we will eat.
We choose what time we will wake up.
We choose who we surround ourselves with.
We choose who we will take home.
We choose what we will study.
We choose who we will spend the rest of our lives with.
We choose how much money we will make.
We choose where we live.
We choose what we will wear.
We choose how we like to drink our coffee.
We choose if we will do the work to love ourselves and be at home in our soul’s shoes.
We choose how much self care we do each day.
You, and me, and every other human on this planet has a choice.
We are powerful beyond measure if we can be accountable for the things we desire.
My advice for you is to start making choices that align with yourself immediately—what is your purpose? What do you want to do for you? What makes you tick? What do you want to leave behind from your 90-100 years on this planet? Do you like your job, or do you like your job because your parents approve of it?
Start being accountable for your life and your happiness—choose to exist differently.
You have the power—I promise you do.
Author: Janne Robinson
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Author’s Own