Personal choices expand outward to influence others. When they do, they can expose weakness in the process of choosing.
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When we make personal choices, we usually think about how they might affect us. They are, after all, personal choices. Less frequently, we think about how they will affect the world around us.
We often choose from the standpoint of separation consciousness. Our choices are frequently made from the mindset that we are individuals, separate from each other and separate from our world. We ponder what might please or benefit us, but may fail to consider how our choices may affect other beings and things.
We do not live in a vacuum; we interact constantly with our surroundings and with each other. The choices we make cannot help but affect our world. Sometimes they do so with consequences that may surprise or dismay us.
We may enjoy driving high-powered cars and recreational vehicles, yet feel saddened by drought-related famines that are due to global warming. We may water our lawn to keep it lush and green in summer, but decry declining aquifers. We may vote for politicians who support legislation that benefits us monetarily, yet be troubled by the negative effect the laws have on others.
Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we may belatedly understand the impact of our choices, allowing us to modify our decisions in the future. But usually, we decide and act based largely on what will be good for us.
Let’s take a moment to imagine how our world might be if we all made choices that factored in the common good. People would have enough to eat and drink. Our natural resources would be shepherded gratefully. Ample education and wellness care would be available to everyone. Animals, plants, and people all would be treated respectfully.
It sounds like some sort of utopia, doesn’t it? It seems impossible that we might see this world in our lifetime. However, we can begin creating that reality today, by making small changes in how and what we choose for ourselves through recognition that our decisions inevitably affect the rest of the world.
When we visualize how our choices can positively impact our world, it becomes easier and more fun to make choices for the collective good. If we can picture our grandchildren’s children having ample resources without despoiling their environment, recycling becomes a gift we make to our planet. If we can imagine a future without smog, walking, biking, using public transport, and/or spending a bit more to purchase an energy-efficient vehicle all become a gift of fresh air to all beings in the future. The happiness and generosity that come from our choices can inspire others to choose well, too.
This sounds so simple, but how will we remember to factor the rest of the world into our choices? How will we know that we are making the right choices? How can we possibly have enough time to put this type of conscious consideration into all our choices? We can’t possibly manage that, can we?
If the task seems hard, it does so because we believe we have to put in the effort all by ourselves. However, we are an inseparable part of the divine whole—the sharing—and a splinter of divinity resides within us, as our sharing within. Let’s ask it for help in shifting how we make choices.
We’ll begin by slowing our breathing, letting it become deep and even. We will picture golden light at the center of our chest, representing our connection to all of creation. As we inhale the light grows brighter; as we exhale the light flows out through and around us. We’ll continue the rhythmic breathing and visualization until we feel a sense of peace and certainty. This is the hallmark of conscious connection with our sharing within.
Next, we will request that our sharing within will help us make choices that honor all of creation. We’ll also ask our sharing within to show us a simple and easy way to distinguish between selfish choices and honorable choices. Perhaps our sharing within will help us to feel happy and relaxed when we ponder ‘good’ options and will let us feel tense when we consider ‘bad’ options. We can trust that whatever method we are shown will be perfect for us.
Finally, we’ll ask our sharing within to make us more easily aware of our connection with other beings and things. When we think about the world as “us” rather than as “me and them”, it will feel more natural to choose for the common good. It will be easier to connect the dots and see ourselves, everyone, and everything in the picture of the divine whole.
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Divinely unique and beautiful reader, what one choice are you willing to make for the collective good? Please share…