I had a high school teacher once tell me, “you know, you can just say no.” She was referring to saying no to my classmates that I allow to copy my work. She wanted me to stick up for myself and tell them that i did not appreciate them copying or I did not want them to copy from my homework. In my head, allowing them to copy my homework was building a relationship that would some day make us friends. I was seeking their approval of me and didn’t mind that they were using me to further themselves.
My child self was always looking for the approval of others. I needed that outside validation of my worth in order to notice any value I provided to the world. I willingly gave up my free will. Free will is the ability to chose between different possible courses of action unimpeded. I freely chose to allow others to decide my fate but I did not take responsibility for myself.
There are many situations where you will feel boxed into a corner or where you can only see one solution to a problem. Instead of taking things at face value, think about what’s best for you and what you want from the situation and take back your free will. There is always another choice. Most people are blind to that fact because the other choice is usually the hardest.
If I could go back in time, I would not change thing because I love who I have become because of it. But going forward with my life, I will practice free will and always take responsibility for my decisions.
The path towards equanimity is about seeking self. Never take the easy route because it’s easy. Rather take the route that speaks to your soul, no matter how rough the terrain.