The answer? I created you.
The choices you make create the world around you. No one else can make these choices but you. No one else can push you into directions you did not accept, down paths you did not choose. For clients in crisis the answer to their question is not something they want to hear. They want to think that someone else created this situation. Someone else caused them to take up drinking. Something else possessed them to corrupt their marriage, partnership, business, or relationship with their children or parents.
The answer to their question is always the same. They created this situation, on their own, and by their choice.
This answer is not something a person in therapy often wants to hear. Frequently the response to this feedback is to rebuke the entire concept of choice with emphatic statements like “why would I do that to myself?” or “do you think I want to live like this?” or “do you think I ruined my marriage on purpose?” The answer is clear. Everything they have done, every choice made, created their world as it is at that very moment, no matter how awful or difficult.
It is only when the concepts of choice and world-creation are heard and accepted that the therapeutic process can pivot from how did they get to this place, to how can they change their world through better choices. And, as the process progresses, people come to understand another critical foundation of healing, –the reasons why they make these choices. These reasons are the foundation to recognizing the triggers and motivations that cause people to create worlds they no longer want.
We constantly alter the world around us through the choices we make. We accept or reject inquires, options, people, information, direction, emotion, contact, drugs, advise, alcohol, sex, love, and affection. This is by no means a full listing of choices, but they are some of the common elements most likely to alter the world people create. Think about the day you met a long-term partner, spouse, or close friend. Now consider the choices you made that day that led to your first meeting this person. Now consider in your mind a single change to that day leading to your meeting. How would that affect your life now had that single change been made? How would it be different? Now multiply this example of a single choice by thousands, and consider the power of how the choices you make shape everything around you.
The choices you make not only create your world; they create the people around you. Your choices define the behaviors of others. Choices you make signal and define who you are, what you are about, how you work, love, worship, and define as acceptable. People accept or reject these signals and definitions, and are either attracted or repelled. This creates a redefining orbit, where we gain or lose people and definitions in a way similar to how atomic structures are formed. Change an orbiting molecule and not only do you change the structure of the atom, you change the definition of the particle. As we are joined or left by others, the structure of who we are changes, as do the people in our orbit. Who you add or take away changes the nature of your atomic structure, and those in your orbit.
When clients realize the power of their choices, and accept responsibility for the choices they made in the past, they can take back their lives through new choices. With an understanding of how they came to be in this current place, and what drives their choices, they can begin to utilize their personal power to change their world and create healthier environments and pathways to a fulfilling and happier life.
Choices create the world around you.
What kind of world did you create?