Everything is a Choice? (Really?)

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my belief that Everything You Do is a Choice.  This is an opinion that I hold pretty firmly and believe to be empowering and uplifting.  It has come to my attention, however, that it may be viewed as negative and too "black and white."  What do you think?  Below are a few questions to consider regarding this viewpoint.

What about those suffering from mental health disorders?  Personality disorders?  Are their "choices" choices?

What role does environment/ home life/ family dynamic have on people's choices?

What about family health history and genes?

I haven't yet figured out what/ how I feel about all aspects of the questions above, but I am trying to work through them.  I feel that although we do not have control over all aspects of our lives, the things in our control are ours for decision making.  Obviously, you don't choose your height, your skin color, where you were born, your family, your genetic makeup, or how your voice sounds... there are many aspects of life out of your control.  And there are most certainly hard times in everyone's life--I am not denying that.  A parent or partner could die, a child could be abandoned, a family could suffer as a result of substance abuse or a gambling addiction--clearly not all parties have a choice in these matters.

This does not, however, mean that you do not choose any aspects of your life.

One of my suitemates in college made me a thoughtful picture frame with pictures of us on top of the quote "Friends are the family you choose."  I loved it and I agree.  You do choose your friends, how you spend your time, and how you react to other people's actions and the circumstances in your life.  You have the power over your attitude and your happiness.  There may not always seem like there is another option, but that does not negate the fact that it is a choice.  This, I think, is the most empowering part of this whole concept.  You don't have to continually suffer.  You can choose to make different choices. 

...And sometimes, you do not know the result of your choice until long after--sometimes, it even turns out that your choice resulted in something you wouldn't have directly and deliberately chosen.  As "harsh" as that may sound, such is the gamble of life.

Here are a few quotes to contemplate concerning choices:

“We don't get to chose what is true. We only get to choose what we do about it.”  

Kami Garcia

“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.”

J.K. Rowling

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Frank Outlaw

“We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us.”  

Ken Levine

I would LOVE to know what you think.

Do you make the choices that create your life? 

Is much of your decision making capability (pre)determined by your genetic makeup? Or upbringing?  Or by God?  Or destiny? 

Do you have a responsibility to yourself/ your family/ your friends to make the "right" decisions? 

Are there any "right" decisions?  Or is everything grey?

Please comment below or on the Facebook page.