For this celebration of the final months of 2010, I’ve chosen a clearly written and wise book for our online book club. “Elegant Choices, Healing Choices,” by Marsha Sinetar, is subtitled, “Finding Grace and Wholeness in Everything We Choose.”
The writer, author of several books, believes each of us can grow whole as persons. She believes that each of us can use our daily choices, even the most insignificant, to help us along this path. The use of the word, elegant, caught my eye. What does she mean by that? You’d better look fantastic while making your life choices? Her explanation inspired me, and felt true.
Her proposition to the reader is that the elegant choice, made with the intention of grace and naturalness, enables us to become increasingly individuated. As we sensitize ourselves to our underlying motives and habit patterns, then we can teach ourselves to make productive choices as a way of life.
We all observe ourselves, even if we do so unconsciously. We always, each and every time, notice when we choose wisely. The psychoanalyst Karen Horner taught that each time we choose in an elevated way, supporting our highest values, we “register” this, and give ourselves credit. When we choose poorly, we “register” this too, and punish ourselves. This concept is the underpinning of the author’s work.
I believe that, and have seen the ramifications of these in my clients. What to do with all the poor choices we’ve made and no doubt will continue to make? We must love ourselves and forgive others (sound familiar?). If we can simply accept ourselves when we know we have chosen unwisely and make a course correction, we can grow into fully human beings. Plainly stated, stay awake about choice making.
There is so much to learn from this book about how we humans resist our own good. It’s a good stepping-stone for all of us who are growing towards our best selves, myself included. It’s a page-turner to me, although a bit densely written in places. I’m forgiving myself for skipping over a few bits.
As this year is winding down, it my hope for all of us to become even more graceful and conscious choice makers.