I would venture to say that if I could put a price tag on these, the quantity that I have collected would make me wealthy in every sense of the word. Unfortunately, the value that is placed on each isn’t quantified by weight in gold or worth much in exchange. No, the world actually doesn’t give these a bit of credibility for their intrinsic value. Instead, they are an afterthought most times, and we typically never pause long enough to cherish the beauty in a wise one or contemplate the outcome of a misguided one.

Choices. If there is one thing that connects each of us in this world it is the fact that none of us can hide from these. They are embedded in each of our lives every moment we are awake. What will you eat for breakfast? If you’re a TV junkie, what newest show will you devour on Netflix? Which elephant will you eat at work first or will you dodge them altogether? Short hair or long hair? That’s a bickering decision for sure! Will you have kids or dogs or fish? High heels or flats? Glasses or contacts? Relationship or single-life?

Every move we make; every word we say; every reaction we give; every action or inaction we take. They all stem from a choice. A single, beautiful opportunity to decide which path is worthy of one of our most limited treasures ever gifted to us, time.

Each choice we make – from the miniscule to the massive – comes with it a set of luggage per se, baggage that impacts our lives in one way or another. Do you catch up on your Facebook feed or catch up with a friend? Go for a run or dive in a book? Choose to look at things through a positive lens or a negative one? Whatever choices you make in life dictates the delicate time you’ve been given and brings with it a slew of reactions and impacts that can propel you or weigh you down.

Now, some may opt to challenge this thought, noting that much of life happens in ways that are beyond our control. How, in those instances, do we dodge that baggage? How do we shake off the effect of others’ choices to our own lives? My answer? With a choice.

You see, every single move we make every single day we are breathing is because of a choice. Sure, we don’t choose the car wreck that caused the massive delay on the interstate (and I would believe that those in the wreck wouldn’t have opted for that choice either). We don’t choose the family we are born in to or the frizzy hair our DNA gifted us with. We don’t choose how other’s think of us or if the person we love most ever loves us back. You are correct in knowing that those choices and more are out of our span of control. But that doesn’t mean a choice isn’t what stands between us and owning all that heavy luggage.

I know this choice first-hand because I live it, daily. This one choice, in my humble opinion, sets the bar for the rest of the choices that life offers us on a silver platter. This one choice stands out from all the rest and it’s a compliment to every other choice you’ve ever had. It is never washed away with the outgoing tide and promised to never rob you of your cherished and most precious time. In fact, it does quite the opposite. This one choice is the basis for your entire life, for when you choose it, you are choosing who you are going to be, the difference you are going to make, and the legacy you are going to leave. Don’t take this choice lightly, for it has far more power than you’ll likely give it credit.

Which lens do you choose to look through and see your life? While you may not control the people around you, the lens you opt for will choose for you how you experience, process, and react to the deck of cards life has dealt you. There are an abundant amount of choices others make that you can’t control, but when you opt to choose a grateful attitude, a humble heart, and a forgiving nature, that precious time that you’ve been gifted can be spent on finding the good and being the good versus the opposite end of the spectrum.

This choice is the essence of perspective and when you let it lead you, you will find that the things that could hold you back don’t. Instead they thrust you forward. You will find that when judgement tries to creep in, you have the ammunition to hold it back, for you start to identify the emotions and reactions that rob you of your time and opt to omit them from staking claim in your life. You become free – free from the pain you once had; free from a heavy past; free from owning the baggage of choices you didn’t make. For once you make this decision, you stop owning others and start owning you.

You own your words. You own your reactions. You own your actions and your inactions. You own the choices you make and when you opt for a lens of perspective, you realize that maybe a choice of risk will reap a deeper reward or that a choice of positivity will create a ripple effect in a sea of pessimism.

This choice is always there. It never leaves your side. In fact, you have the choice right now. You’ll have the choice when your life goes beautifully, and it will be there when hiccups occur. The choice remains day in and day out. This choice can feel risky at times, but I promise that the rewards are worth it because you are worth it, right? This choice brings you power, filled with more riches than any amount of cash and more happiness than an exotic vacation could ever promise. The lens through which you choose to look at your life through can make or break you; can drive or hinder you; can create a legacy worthy of remembering or one that is easily forgotten. Remember, though, this choice – while always there – can only be made by one person. And that one person is you. 

You can find more of Stephanie’s work on Color Today Pretty & on her socials @colortodaypretty !

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