One of the greatest gifts you are given is that of free will, the power of choice.  At all times, you can choose how you're going to act on what you feel, even if you feel as if you're trapped with no way out.
    Nikos Kazantzakis said,
    That's powerfully freeing and exciting and scary all at the same time.  You can do whatever you want with your life - you can say what you want, feel what you want and do what you want.  You simply have to choose.  However, since the world revolves around cause and effect, each choice you make will affect your life and others. Each choice may have its consequences or sacrifice something else.  It is a big responsibility to make wise, healthy and loving choices that will affect yourself and everyone else.
    At times, you may think you don't have a choice.  You might feel trapped by an unhappy but "comfortable" relationship, a miserable but "secure" job, an "unstoppable" addiction, "incurable" disease, "unbreakable" marriage, or an "imprisoned" home life.
    Perhaps you can't change the situation, but you can choose how to react which changes how you feel.  Ryan White couldn't change the fact that he had AIDS but instead of feeling like he was dying from a terminal disease, he lived his life fully each day and educated people and changed their lives.  Terry Fox couldn't change the fact that his leg had been amputated, but instead of feeling sorry for himself, he made a choice to walk across Canada with an artificial leg, raising millions of dollars for charity.  Oprah Winfrey was abused in her childhood, but instead of shutting down, she became determined to be "a voice" and is now one of the most well-known "educators" in the world.  Jim Carrey and his family were once homeless, but he chose to follow the laughter, and now his talent has bought his family everything he ever wanted for them.  A brave man who spent most of his life in an actual jail cell, Nelson Mandela, hung on to his vision for his country, and after most of a lifetime in jail, finally was released and led his people to freedom.
    Are your "prisons" this extreme?  If you feel trapped in a situation, there can be a way out.  You can get a divorce, quit your job, work at overcoming your addiction, seek healing cures, leave home.  Each choice might seem impossible. Each choice might involve a future with no guarantees.  Each choice might need a lot of hope and faith.  But each choice might make you free, might make you happy, might make your dreams come true.
    You have the choice of how you're going to perceive life and react emotionally each day.  A lot of us wake up on a Monday, dreading having to put on the monkey suit and do that 8 to 5 thing.  You could choose to feel miserable.  Or you could choose to wake up a few minutes earlier one day and give yourself some "fun time". Sing to your favorite song, listen to a comedy tape, take a bath instead of a shower, whistle, dance, make love, draw, get tickled, meditate, garden.  Do something that makes you smile or laugh and makes you see how lucky you are to be alive one more day.  Then take that feeling into your day and hold onto it.
    Your life will be filled with countless choices each day.  How lucky you are to be able to make those choices.  You can create your life anyway you want it to be - it is up to you to paint the canvas as you wish, it is your choice of how you'll act in the play of life.  Pick up that brush! Draw a Masterpiece!

    From "We are God, A Spiritual Guidebook" Copyright 1995 by Gregg Liebgold

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