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Choices, Elections & Therapy

On election day, it feels right to talk about choices. When they come in ballot form, with the options laid out clearly in front of us, our choices can be easy to identify and navigate: we choose what we want and we fill in the circle. In this specific scenario, despite the ease of implementation, we understand the gravity of our decisions. Who we choose as president will ultimately dictate the type of leadership we want for ourselves, and the lives we want to lead as individuals and as a country.

However, when our choices are not in ballot form, they can sometimes be harder to identify and act upon. When we feel "stuck" in situations, or don't know how to help ourselves, we can lose sight of the fact that we have choices to begin with. Or to put it even stronger, we sometimes forget that we can choose to be "un-stuck", change the course we initially set out upon, or even help ourselves move forward. It can at times be hard to see the choices we have, and yet, they are always there. Even if we choose to remain stagnant and to not move ahead or leave a given situation or relationship, in doing so we are making a choice as well: to stay. Even in the moments when we feel most helpless, as though we can't change who we are, it can be a difficult reality to accept that that too is a choice we are making.

With that said, realizing that we constantly have choices to make can be a very empowering idea to embrace. Rather than feeling helpless, we can be active participants in our own narratives and choose what we want for ourselves, and what we want to influence our lives and our senses of fulfillment and happiness. Embracing our choices also means embracing responsibility, leaving no one else accountable but ourselves. This may be a slightly anxiety-provoking idea for some, yet it need not be. When we are lucky enough to be in the driver's seat, we can choose the destination, play our music as loud as we want, and set the rest to cruise control.

I write that last line with hesitation so as to not insinuate that any of this is easy. Therapy can be very helpful in exploring issues related to self-confidence, depression, anxiety, and other factors that may be making it difficult to get in that driver's seat to begin with.

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