we’re our choices, not our destinies

Are some of us superbeings?  

Stronger, faster, able to leap tall buildings?  More capable of empathy, love, devotion, honesty?  Are some of us more perfectly suited to succeed and be happy?  Some would say that those of us that fall into a terrible place did so because it couldn’t be helped.  They pity these people, or despise them.  At worst, the racists and elitists think they are better than the idiot poor folk who are no good for anything.

Sometimes I would agree.  Sometimes the circumstances are beyond anyone’s strength.  Other times, I’m not so sure (certainly I don’t believe that some races or cultures are superior to others, unless your culture involves treating people like dirt).

Sometimes I’ve done better in life, comparatively speaking.  Sometimes I have done worse.  I didn’t know if it was me, if I just wasn’t good enough at something, or I was particularly good at something.  I just hoped I was doing the best I could.

I may sound corny, but I sincerely believe all humans are created equally.  

I was not predestined to succeed, while others destinies were to fail. It is what happens afterwards that changes us, and some of us overcome and some of us become broken.  I hold no anger or judgment or superiority toward anyone, unless the person truly deserves it.  

Because you see, I happen to have a doppleganger of sorts. Someone whose life very closely mirrors mine. Only we both made slightly different choices. And, now, ten years later, we are in very, very different positions in life. In every single respect.

I swam, where she- and others- sank, for three reasons. A bit of luck. The choices I made. And the support I chose to keep around me.

Do you think you’d be happier if you stuck your hand in a fire, or kept it out of harm’s way? 

Why would our emotional choices be any different?  

Why would we think we could be happy, while making destructive choices? We may think we’re superhumans, and some days, we are, indeed.  But mostly, I’ve observed, we’re just human.  We can only do so much to overcome our own self sabotage.  

I’ll readily admit some of us, myself included, have superficial advantages— and they aren’t meaningless, either.  Some of us are born wealthier.  Some of us are “prettier,” in the sense of being blessed (or cursed?) with Hollywood beauty.  (I suppose, with males, one would say “handsomer.”  I’ll call anyone pretty, though.)  Some of us are “smarter,” again, in the sense of being, perhaps, genetically inclined to be good at math and science and all the “traditional smarts.”

But it isn’t the smartest, richest, or prettiest among us that are always the happiest.

And none of us are born more inherently able to be happy.

Perhaps some of us are stronger or even “better” than others. I have no interest in making a judgment call one way or the other. It doesn’t matter.  One person isn’t capable of changing and shedding our worst selves, while another is just “not able to handle it.”  

I’ve changed.  I could have resisted, hell, at times I have resisted!  But I gave in, because it was move forward– or stop dead in my tracks.  Letting everyone else pass me by.  I’ve seen other people change, too, as they overcame personal challenges.  Even so-called impossible challenges.  

If SOME of us are “good” enough or “strong” enough to do it, we ALL are good enough.  Whatever that means.  Some of us might not have the support system or resources to be able to do so confidently or safely.  But we’re all capable, with a bit of help.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, yes, some of us have done worse things than others or feel more negative qualities. It’s okay. Our toxic qualities don’t define us.  I still haven’t gotten rid of all of mine, but I’m working on the pieces of myself I love least.  Social toxicity is something toxic that society teaches us is healthy but hurts ourselves and others. All of us have to work our way through that, at some point.

None of that matters. Because we are still in charge of what happens next.

I don’t believe that any of us cannot choose our own paths.    

We are all given the same chance to make ourselves whatever we want— although some of our paths may be harder to walk along than others.  We all have our own curious mix of what we like, love, and hate. If you are not on the path you want, and you are doing all you can, maybe you need some help. Everyone needs help, but–

I have learned, whether it is true or not, that we are our choices, not our destinies.

I hope that is a comforting thought.

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