Imagine for moment that within your hands you hold the most beautifully wrapped gift you’ve ever seen. It’s about the size of a large iPad box. The paper so beautiful, it’s almost a crime to tear it; the ribbon so elegantly tied it looks more like art then gift wrapping; the tag, clearly addressed to you, is written in a glorious, almost otherworldly font with swirls and swoops and glittery ink and flawless penmanship so stunning it makes your name seem magical. Could any content inside hold up to such presentation?
As you reach to untie the bow, you notice something you hadn’t before. In fact, you might even swear is wasn’t there at all until you made your decision to open it, but there it was. Clear as day: a second tag. Equally as beautiful, it simply says: “Congratulations!”
And you can’t prove it, but you’d even swear you hear a faint explosion of applause.
“What the heck?!” you think, as you ponder this Harry-Potter-like gift that seems to undergo metamorphosis as you interact with it.
It’s not until you fully open it and read the letter inside, a parchment that seems simultaneously old-as-time and something from a future not yet realized, that it all begins to make scary, heart palpitating sense. It almost glows, and you can see the words popping off the page as you read them, as if they are trying to jump into you with every syllable:
Congratulations on your act of courage!
As you are beginning to grasp, this is a gift of enormous magnitude and unpredictability. With it you can change your world, or you can let it frighten you into inaction.
With this gift every decision you make will magically build bridges, create opportunities, open up new possibilities — and yes, they may also do the opposite: burn bridges, destroy opportunities and close off possibilities.
Inherent in those opposing outcomes is this gift.
In your hands you now hold the gift of choice.
At each and every moment of your life you will experience a choice point, some trivial, others more significant.
This gift is a reminder to notice, to recognize that choice leads to growth and learning — and understanding that opens up new choices which can lead you to either become afraid or insatiably curious.
Which will it be for you?
As a result of you opening me, you have bestowed upon yourself the world’s most powerful gift: the power of choice. Yes, it is more powerful than love, because love is an act of choice — and too many people choose to only love when it’s easy. What will you choose?
Use it well, for it is your choice:
- It’s your choice how you feel about the world around you;
- your choice how you want to engage in that world;
- your choice how and when to forgive;
- your choice how to reach out to those with whom you disagree;
- your choice how you dare to dream;
- your choice to open the gifts that come your way;
- your choice to risk the beauty and comfort of what is for the possibility of what could become;
- your choice to love, even when love seems the riskiest act;
- your choice to see with your heart what others fail to see when they only look with their eyes;
- your choice to see in yourself all the beauty and power you wish was there, because it is, if you choose to see it;
- your choice to take chances;
- your choice___________.
Too many people feel like they need permission to be the person they wish to be in the world, afraid that if they step into their true selves they will be laughed at, teased, ridiculed, dismissed, seen or invisible.
By opening this gift you have received the gift of choice. How will you use it this holiday season? What choices will you make from this point forward for how you want to show up in the world?
You had the courage to open me, and witnessed the immediate changes that took place once choice was set into action, because you were right — that second tag wasn’t there until you made the choice to open me, and had your commitment wained or faltered, it would not have appeared. Play with that. See where it leads you. With the gift of choice, anything is possible, any level of happiness is achievable, any mountain climbable, any success you can imagine is within reach.
If you choose.
The choice is yours.