Choice as a Life Principle

jamie moon 12 steps

By Jamie Moon

In the last article we mentioned Choice as part of the Principle of Humility. If we chose that “God is everything”—then we chose on the side of having a Higher Power in our lives. So what is it that we truly have Choice over? What does it look like to live a life of Choice? Let’s start with a look at what Choice means. It is defined as the right, power, or opportunity to choose. Now in much of our lives we have acted as though we had no Choice—that we were a victim of this that or the other thing. But what I now understand is that we may not have a Choice of what happens on the outside of us. Although we DO have a myriad Choices of how we respond to what happens.

We have a Choice as to what we make it mean. We not only have a Choice of what we make it mean but what it means about “them,” what it means about “me,” about what it means about “life,” and on and on… Mostly what we truly have Choice over is three major areas of my life. We learned these when we made personal inventory. They are that we have a Choice over our emotions, our actions (which include our in-actions and re-actions) and our beliefs.

Now mostly when people come to work the Twelve Steps, they don’t think that this is true. I know I truly believed that my emotions were caused by others. I hated them for it. I certainly didn’t know that I was 100% responsible for my actions. I really, really believed that it was “their” actions or words that were at least a partial cause of my actions. I also was convinced that my beliefs were caused by my parents and siblings and teachers and the society in which I grew up in.

Today I see things in a much different way. I see that each of our emotions come from our beliefs our thoughts and our stuff (that’s a professional term). Now I know that I AM 100% for my actions. I know for instance that what comes out of your mouth—has to do with you. Nothing the other person says has anything to do with me, in any way whatsoever. I know that what comes out of my mouth has to do with me. I know that my emotions have to do with and come from me and no one else. And that I created my beliefs and that I do not have to live with old faulty beliefs anymore. I have a Choice.

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