We Have the Power to Change

Captain’s Log    6,058

I got smacked down yesterday by another blogger about my belief that what we tolerate will continue in our lives.  I truly believe that and here is why.

Breaking it down even further, it boils down to the choices we make every day.  We choose ALL the time, and everything we choose has a ripple effect somewhere along the line.  Even simple stuff.

What I wear to work today may or may not make an impression on someone coming to my office.

Choosing my major in college had an effect on the choices I made for my career as it unfolded.

Choosing to cast someone from the museum in one of my shows eventually led to my current job as the director.

Trusting my business partner back in Minnesota led to the end of my recording career and my life as a traveling musician.

Giving $2 to the homeless guy on the corner may have allowed him to purchase more booze or maybe a sandwich at the convenience store.

Choosing to marry someone without a good heart, ambition, or family values may end up badly.

Choosing to smoke may affect my health.

Choosing to have children may affect my lifestyle, my income, and a myriad of other things.

Not listening to my intuition when I am being followed by a stranger may lead to dire consequences.

Choosing to be singer and having a life on the road required that I give up a good income, family, owning a home, etc.

Choosing the pretty sandals over the sturdy ones may cause blisters.

What I am trying to say is this.  The small choices we make every day have an enormous impact on our future.  The larger decisions even more.  If someone is being a shithead we choose to ignore, that is a choice we make in the moment.   People who become monsters in our lives do not get that way overnight.  99% of the time, it’s a slow boil that we can choose to ignore or choose to end quickly.  We cannot rely on anyone to make these choices for us.

There are always resources for help.  Always.  We just have to make the effort.  There are police, lawyers, shelters (if need be).   There are labor codes and state laws.  There are politicians.  There are neighbors and friends.  And in some cases, there is vigilante justice.

I do NOT blame victims.  I would never be so cruel and heartless.  I do, however, encourage people to look at the role they played in creating the situation.  Unless you get hit on the head by a falling telephone pole, chances are you made a decision that was part of the creation of the situation.  I am not blaming anyone for making unfortunate choices.  Heaven knows I have made enough of those to last me more than a lifetime.  I DO examine my role in the situation, own it, and go forth to make the changes necessary.  I have walked off jobs where I have been disrespected.  I have booked tickets to New Zealand when I only had $1,000 in the bank.  I have been so broke that one Subway sandwich had to last three days.  I have gotten out of the car and walked home when a man raised his hand to me.  I have closed the door on people who hurt me.  I have made smart choices and incredibly stupid ones.  I have made decisions that put my life in danger.  But the fact is…..I played a role, and I must admit that.  However wrong or right, I helped create the situations.

Admitting that we helped create situations gives us the power to change them.  We had the power to help create them, and we have the power to transform.  We have the power.

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13 Comments

Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

13 responses to “We Have the Power to Change

  1. Stephanie

    Yes! You rock!

  2. I agree with most of this, but sometimes your choice to go to the theater doesn’t mean you are responsible for getting shot.
    Boy, I sure did make some bad choices. LOL

  3. I agree too. Most of the time we can find some help somewhere. Sometimes it just takes a little longer.

  4. I agree that what happens in our lives is the result of choices, good or bad. But there is a big difference between that and saying you get what you tolerate, when you are effectively imprisoned. I was talking to the mom/grandmother and know circumstances well beyond what I put in my blog. I recommended some legal options that we hope will help, even though we also know it will almost certainly result in attempted murder. It won’t be called that, naturally. It will be whitewashed under the name of “domestic violence.”

    I have seen so many young women (and men, and children) whose sense of choice has been corrupted by a bully who convinces them that they have no choice. It’s brainwashing, it’s insidious, and it’s a fact for all too many people in our world. I have seen it from both sides of that nasty, splinter-filled fence, too. I know how much of a charming chameleon the most vile human beings can be, when they want to control someone bad enough. By the time you recognize the warning signs you’re trapped. And yes – sometimes trapped is a fact, too. You’re robbed of options by the circumstances.

    • poolagirl

      I too have been bullied and made to feel hopeless and trapped. I relate. And I know it’s terrible. And I know there is always an option. Somewhere. Someone. Sometime. I was brutally attached by a stranger in a grocery store many years ago. Random. The cops told me not to press charges because the system would protect him. And they were right. So I took matters into my own hands and learned to keep myself safe. I learned to stay clear of people at the very first sign of asshole behavior. I can kill a human being with my bare hands if I have to. And people now seem to sense that, Lei. I made a choice to not be afraid. And when I do get stuck, I take care of myself by asking for help. I can only speak for myself and how awful it is for me when I feel victimized. I won’t allow it. Some abuses my staff and they have me to deal with. When a board member threatened to punch me in the face a few months ago, I stepped up and roared and dared him to make his move. I would not allow him to subjugate me. As a female, we need these skills. Talk trash to me and I will take you outside for a serious take-down. Do it again and that will happen wherever we are. Tolerate a bully and the bully will win. Make smart moves and back those moves up with strength and determination, and the bully caves. Defused a bully here at the museum just yesterday. A woman. Rather than grovel and fuss over her ridiculous demands, our staff merely told her we would cancel the contract. We all hold an ace. Trust me. We all hold an ace.

  5. susanna

    Amen. We created it and we can change it. One of my tools when I was a therapist was to help people re-write their stories. It’s powerful to make everything that happens a stepping stone to where you want to go. And we are always going somewhere but that’s another story.

  6. What a wonderful, thought inspiring post. I agree fully.

  7. Patti

    Speaking wisdom, Poolie!

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