Happy New Year, friends! Lately, God has been speaking to me through this Lennon & Yoko song. I found myself referencing it in a poem, and then it showed up on my social media feed several times in just a matter of days. Granted, this is a popular song around the holidays, but it has spoken to me particularly since I understood the power of choice. I’ve always thought it was interesting that the subtitle is “If You Want It.” Who wouldn’t want war to be over, after all? This was my naive manner of thinking when I first listened to Lennon’s solo material at the tender age of thirteen – now, as I am reading our President’s tweets about his “nuclear button,” I am seeing that, indeed, not everyone wants war to be over.
Some argue that everything is a choice, including emotions. I do not agree that we can choose our feelings, although we can choose the stories we tell ourselves that influence how we feel. In every moment, we have a choice between fear or love, peace or clamor. Some may not realize they have the power to choose, for they may have patterns of response so deeply ingrained that they feel at a loss to choose differently.
I saw two quotes, one right after the other, as I was on my Twitter feed today. One said, “This year, I hope you choose self-love instead of self-improvement.” The next was printed on a photo of Steve Harvey lifting weights, and it said, “Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.” Seeing the two so close together further reinforced the power of choice. One does not need to be better than the other… but they are two completely different thoughts. I know many who would resonate more with the Steve Harvey one, and many would think that resonating more with one thing means that the one thing is “better than” the other.
It is human to see things in this way, as one truth being superior to another. I shake my head at most of the President’s tweets. I catch myself judging people – for instance, the neighbor who walked outside in her Mickey Mouse pajamas this afternoon. I judge myself, my own clothing choices, my food choices, and I even judge my judging. Judging is a choice, too. Sometimes we have to choose not to beat ourselves up for our choices. We can choose to be peaceful with ourselves, and then carry that out to others.
We can disagree with someone and remain peaceful. We can be heartbroken and remain peaceful. There have been times that feelings of loss or disconnect have been utterly gut-wrenching, and the times I chose to stare quietly off into the distance over attempting to control the events that led to the heartache, I felt much better about myself and the situation afterward.
There has been a war going on inside me for so long now. I felt like it was my job to make people love me, and if they didn’t love me, I felt that there must be something more I could do, or something that I must not have been doing. It finally clicked into place toward the end of December, after a powerful Reiki session, that it is not my job to make people love me. I can express what’s on my heart, but if it does not resonate with the other person, it does not have to mean that I was wrong to express it or that there is something unlovable about me.
War can be over, if you want it, too. We have choices every day about what we consume mentally and physically. Sometimes we will make choices that we’ll wish we had not made, and that is okay too. In any moment, no matter what you have done, you can choose peace. If you’re not choosing it now, you can choose it… now, or now… or now.
Peace, and happy new year.