Christina Cole Romance

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A Thought for Today: Choices

Camus

Life is the sum of all your choices – Albert Camus

Although we may sometimes feel as if life is something that happens to us, the truth is we play a role in creating our future through the choices we make. Each day, we make choices that affect our health, our happiness, our relationships.

Wise choices can bring us closer to the life we want; poor choices leave us struggling to get through each day.

Most of the time, we know what’s right. We know healthy foods are better for us than fattening desserts. We know it’s important to get enough rest. We know the importance of treating others with kindness. Yet time after time, we make choices we later regret.

At other times, we simply make wrong choices. Maybe we misjudged someone or something. Maybe we didn’t have all the information we needed. For whatever reason, our choice proved not to bring us the happiness we expected. It happens.

So make choices today that you won’t regret…and when you make a mistake, learn from it and make new choices for tomorrow.

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What choices are you making today?

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Open the Door

wooden-panel-doors-500x500Many years ago, I wrote a short, short story called Doors. It was a fairly simple, uncomplicated story about two young girls spending an evening together, talking girl talk, and all the while opening and closing different doors. It was inspired by real life experience as I sat listening to one of my daughters and her best friend chatting about life, love, and the future.

Even though it was late, they decided they should set off on an adventure. They made a great fuss about getting dressed up, ready to go out. Doors opened. Doors closed. Bedroom doors. The door to the basement. Oh, the noise and chatter!

 

Finally, they opened the front door, stepped out onto the porch, then quickly turned around and returned to the safety and security of home.

“We’ll go out another time,” they said as they came inside and closed the door behind them.

To me, the doors they were opening and closing symbolized the future and the act of growing up. Such a rush of excitement…and then the quiet realization that they weren’t truly ready to face the realities of becoming adults.

I wrote about doors again recently in “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”. It, too, is a story about growing up and facing adult realities and responsibilities. Although I mention “doors” a dozen times in the novel, I think my favorite reference is this one:

Choices.

There was that word again. She’d stood her ground, had made her choices, and what was the result? She thought of how often her parents talked about opening and closing doors. When one door closed, they insisted, the Lord opened other doors for you.

Now, quite the opposite had happened. She’d opened the door to a future with Ben, but by doing so, all other doors were now closed.

Doors open and doors close. We often come to a doorway and wonder what’s on the other side, what might lie behind that door.

While browsing around a bit this morning, I came across this door-inspired quote from author Graham Greene:

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.

 

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No matter our age, there are always doors opening and closing around us. Whenever we face a new door, we don’t know what’s on the other side. The only way to find out is to open the door.

 


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The Obvious Choice?

Life is filled with choices. Big ones, little ones, simple ones, and an occasional downright difficult dilemma.

“There are always choices in life,” Amanda Phillips tells hero Joshua Barron in Not the Marrying Kind, and she’s right. Every day we’re faced with choices from the time we wake up until we climb back into bed and pull up the covers.

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Choice is a key element in fiction, of course, and it’s through choice that character is revealed. We authors strive to create challenging situations for our characters, forcing them to make tough choices and painful decisions. It’s how we test them, how we encourage them to grow, to change, and to become worthy of love.

When we face decisions, how do we know what the right choice is?

I’ve been pondering this question lately as I work on the fourth book of “The Sunset Series”. It’s a story about choices and consequences, a story about mistakes and lost opportunities. As part of my research while writing, I began browsing quotations about choices — and also about the regrets that sometimes follow.

I came across this one:

The obvious choice is usually a quick regret.

It surprised me because it seemed to go against conventional wisdom. Choices, after all, involve right and wrong, and as often as not, we do know the difference, don’t we? Most situations we face can be viewed from a logical perspective and the correct choice easily determined. Countless self-help books and articles can guide us through the decision-making process with easy-to-follow instructions about finding the pro and con in each alternative and weighing them in the balance.

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You know…that’s never really worked for me. Writing down all those good points and not-so-good points leaves me confused. It’s impossible to compare one benefit to another and to accurately determine if what’s gained truly outweighs what might be lost. So much involves speculation. We can never say with certainty what the outcome of a choice will be.

Still, the logical side of my brain insists that logical choices — obvious choices about what’s right and what’s wrong — should be the best.

Life experience has proved otherwise.

As I sit here and look back over the choices and decisions I’ve made, I can clearly see that the best choices — the ones that have given meaning and direction to my life — were the ones that were neither obvious nor logical. They were choices that came from my heart, and no matter how absurd, how illogical, how unwise…they worked. They were the right choices for me.

When I came across that saying about obvious choices bringing quick regrets, I thought again about decisions I’ve made. Sure enough, the times I regret are those when I listened to logic, did what was expected, and essentially, played it safe.

Sages have taught that the great choice in life is one between love and fear. Too often fear can hold us back. It limits us to obvious choices. Choosing love requires courage — the courage to move beyond the obvious, the courage to be different, the courage to express who we truly are.

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Here’s wishing you a year filled with love

and with the courage to overcome all fears.