I've been thinking a lot about choice these days. I have even decided that my new motto is this: “I am The Voice for Choice”. I like it. It is not a new concept for me or the world, but rather one that I am currently pondering and well, choosing!

Some times things happen in our lives that we have little choice about. In October of 1994, my husband and son were in an automobile accident. I received a phone call from an anonymous person who told me that my son (6 years old) was on his way, via ambulance, to the hospital where I was working in the ICU. I chose to turn my patients over to the other nurses and go to the emergency room to be with my son when he arrived. (His father had stayed with the car. Don't get me started on that subject! I still have some forgiving to do there!) Although it was hard for me to do, I also chose to go home with him, leaving my co-workers in the lurch that night. His father would be with him at home, but I needed Doug and he needed me. I made a good choice. Yes, this was a hard decision for me, because I felt responsibility to both my son and my job.

Today, I was told to stay home from my nursing job. I was to go to a new patient's home and orient so that I could be of greater service to my employer. This is something that I am OK with. This way, if my patient goes into the hospital and I have no job, I can work. (I work part time as a registered nurse doing private duty home care so that I can keep my RN license. The state will not let me keep my license unless I work a certain number of hours in nursing during the licensure period. Go figure! And having a massage therapy practice and utilizing my nursing knowledge on a daily basis is not good enough.) Also, if one of this new person's nurses is sick or goes on vacation, I can help out in a very temporary fashion. I like being flexible and helpful so this works for me. Once I got that email this morning telling me to stay home I had a choice—actually many choices. I could grump about the loss of money or I could complain about the staff member who knew this days ago and only told me as I was preparing to go (I had sent her an email asking for directions to the home, and I knew that if I already had the directions, I would have driven there for no reason!) OR, I could take my coffee and laptop back to bed, snuggle in with my cats on this very very cold day and spend the time reading and writing before I go to my office this afternoon. I chose to be content right where I was and to know that someone would call for a massage today and that I will have at least as much income from massage as I would have had from orientation. And in the meantime, I have written 2 blogs, an article and worked on editing one of my books. That sounds pretty productive to me! AND I've managed to sit in my sauna for an hour and sweat.

I remember reading Viktor Frankl's book in the 80's Man's Search for Meaning. It amazed me that a man who was in a concentration camp could feel free. Here is a quote from his book:

There were always choices to make. Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form o the typical inmate.

I highly recommend that you read this book. He talks of purpose, also. Purpose is what keeps me going these days. He talks about happiness and how it depends on purpose.

...it is characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to “be happy”. But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to “be happy”. Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. As we see, a human being in not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason be become happy, least but not last, through actualizing the potential meaning inherent and dormant in a given situation.

So according to Frankl, meaning and purpose are necessary in order for one to be happy.

Things have happened to me that I don't know how they could have been avoided. There is nothing that I could have done to prevent the love of my life from being hit head on by a drunk driver and being killed instantly. He chose his route, timing, and the vehicle that he drove, his small economical car instead of his larger, more protective truck. She chose not only her vehicle, route and timing, but to drink, take drugs and drive. And they were on an impossible-to-predict-or-avoid collision course. (He was the love of the first half of my life, I have decided. I'm open to that intensity of love happening again! If I did it once, I can do it again! And that is another choice that I am making.)

Many of my close family members have died. I don't know why this is the way my life has been, but it is. If I could change it, I would. If I could bring them back....Yep. I would. What helps me to get through the grief process is my sense of faith in something bigger than me, a belief that we exist both before and after we have physical form on this earth, and a purpose for me now. Most days, it is that purpose that keeps me going. I meditate on the meaning that these people have for me, both in life and in death. I ponder what meaning life has for me and how I can best go about living on purpose.

I am the Voice for Choice. I choose to live my life, doing my best every day. I choose to write in hopes of inspiring others to thrive and fulfill their purpose here. I choose to eat and exercise as though I mean to be around for a while. I choose to take chances when they need to be taken and to love always. I choose to find meaning in everything I encounter, even if I don't understand it.

What are you choosing?

Author's Bio: 

Pam Hauser, RN, LMBT, began her professional life as a Registered Nurse, first graduating from a Diploma program in 1976, then completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 1982. She spent much of her nursing career in hospitals, and most of that time in critical care units. She has been a Head Nurse, a Nursing Supervisor, and completed four and a half years in the US Army Nurse Corps, with an honorary discharge as a Captain.

In 1997, she changed gears and went to the Academy of Somatic Healing Arts in Atlanta, GA. She began her practice of neuromuscular therapy in January of 1998. Through the years, she has learned many other modalities, with her principle practice having a clinical focus and concentrating on Neuromuscular Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage Therapy. Her main goal with a client is to restore balance and functioning while promoting health and well-being. She moved to the mountains near Asheville, NC, in October of 2002, and opened her practice in January of 2003. Her website is http://www.phoenixmassageofasheville.com.