We hear all the time that we always have a choice.  And that’s true — for the most part.  We don’t have a choice when we get sick or hurt. Or we don’t have a choice when someone we loves gets sick, or gets hurt, or dies.  We don’t have a choice when someone decides to exercise their choices in life.  We can still choose how we interact within someone else’s choice to voice how they feel they know what is best for us.

But when we are sick, hurt, or on our death bed and the only choices we have left is to decide if we want to get better or not get better — and someone is trying to take those choices away — what do we have left? It seems that everyone thinks they know what is best for us, even if they haven’t taken the time to really know who we are today.  It’s a interesting thing because the people that love and care about us pretty much just want the best for us; what hinders that purity is how each person’s own insecurity, weaknesses, point of view, or habits influence their decisions to try and influence our choices. Everyone has their own agenda as to why they want us to do a certain thing.  Have you ever watched someone get really stressed out because someone they love is sick and not doing what is needed to get better? And have you ever watched someone who is sick, fighting for their right of choice to not want to do anything to get better? There is a lot of emotions going around each side of this as the battle for choice ensues. The one side wants the person that is sick to get better because they want them around, and the person that is sick is fighting to keep the only thing they have left, which is choice to get better and live or to not do anything.

Most choices in our life are based on some kind of emotion. Sometimes our choices are clouded by an ailment in the moment, (physically and emotionally), that may otherwise be different when we are healthy.  It’s very hard to heal and make healthy choices when we are sick, hurting, depressed, or just generally feeling down about life.  It’s hard to make the choice to not react when someone is not making the choice that we think they should make. But one of the many beauties in life is that we all have a choice to make our own choices, and to honor and respect someone else’s choices (both good and bad).  Sure there are times when a choice made by others is clouded under the stress of a weakened mind or body but to them, in the moment, they are going to fight back to keep the only thing they have left: choice.  Of course there are times in life when a choice is degenerated by substance (drugs, alcohol, mental illness), to which interjection is necessary to preserve the safety of the individual and others; in those times we get to choose what is right for the greater good. It is natural to want the best for the ones we love, and it is natural (at least for some) to want to help and make sure others are around and thriving forever. It is better to support, care, love, cherish, and provide an avenue of hope and healing, than it is to put someone else, or even ourselves, under duress to make choices that we want others to want. The former provides an environment of gratefulness and thankfulness; the latter builds a wall of resentment, bitterness, and animosity.  Let’s choose to choose, and let others choose….even when our choice is being taken away…

-Joe Tesoro, Jr