The ability to choose is the defining factor which sets human beings apart from all other living creatures. As with many precious gifts, (such as truth) choice can be a two-edged sword. Telling someone that the difficult circumstances they find themselves in came about by their own choice is not a way of making friends or influencing people, nor is it helpful to anyone in the midst of their difficulties. Understanding the principle of choice and accountability, and its application in our own lives, however, can be a powerful tool for growth and healing.
Until we are able to respond with choice, we are unable to claim our own creative power. In other words, victims are such because they are unaware that they can choose not to be. To choose is to take responsibility, or the ability to respond, to circumstances in our lives. Limited awareness of our ability to make choices, limits our options for growth and self-empowerment. We can choose to become a creator of our own reality, or a creature of circumstance. Some define "responsibility" to mean that you follow a course of action that they approve of. When you don’t follow that course, they respond with blame or guilt. Consider how difficult it is to respond when laboring under blame or guilt. True responsibility is to act appropriately for you in consequence of your choice. Accountability is the ability to balance the choice with its consequence. That is, we choose, and the universe responds with consequence or result. When choice is not conscious, but directed by the 90% of your mind which "uses you", the results are often not what we would consciously choose for ourselves. Typically, we then focus our attention on what we dislike about the results, thereby creating more of the same, in what seems to be one eternal round. Our choice is the cause, the thought, the beginning of the cycle, the alpha. Accountability is the universe’s response to our cycle, the have, the result, the omega. As the cycle returns again to another choice, the universe is accountable to provide us yet another result. This is the eternal balance of life, the ancient law of the Two Ways. One fear that we often encounter is the fear of making a wrong choice. Frozen in fear, we succumb to choice by default. Understanding the difference between a decision and a choice might help in overcoming the fear of choosing.
Decide, v.i.; 1. To pass judgment; 2. To make up one’s mind; to form a definite opinion; to come to a conclusion. -de [L. a prefix signifying separation, cessation, intensification, or contraction; also, from Fr. D+, from L. de or Ofr. Des-, from L. dis-, dis-.] a prefix meaning (a) away from, off, as in depilate, detrain; (b) down, as in depress, decline; (c) wholly, entirely, as in defunct; (d) undo, reverse the action of, as in defrost. -cide, [from Fr. Or L.; Fr.-cide; L. –cida, from cudere, to cut down, strike mortally, kill.] a suffix meaning killer or killing, as in homicide.
Choose, v.t.; chose, pt.; chosen, pp.; choosing. 1. To pick out by preference from all available; to select; as, to choose a wife. 2. To prefer; decide; think proper (with an infinitive object.) 3. To desire; want. Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary Unabridged (second edition), Collins World. 1978.
The word decide comes from the Latin root "to cut off, to separate, to pass judgment." According to Webster’s Dictionary, it means to bring to an end.
The word defend means, "to fend or ward off, to forbid, to prohibit, to resist, to try to justify." It is a common human characteristic that we tend to first decide, and then to defend. We defend against what we fear. To decide and defend is to solidify, separate, and die:
Decisions are often unconscious responses to circumstances in very early life, from which we then continue to operate, in spite of ourselves. To choose and commit is to select consciously, with power, and trust life to accomplish it. By releasing the frozen thought forms created through decision and defense, one is allowed, in the present moment, a new point of power through choice and commitment into accountability. Whatever we choose, we give attention to. Attention, like gravity, holds things in place by drawing it to its source. The character of what is attracted is of no concern to either. Awareness is the key. If your life circumstances are not to your joyful satisfaction, perhaps it is time to wake up and choose again.
The Principle of Choice and Accountability