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  • Contributed by Todd DeVries, LMSW

The Power of Choice

Todd DeVries, LMSW of Willow Sage Services describes "The Power of Choice.

" Why do some people appear to thrive in the face of adversity? How is it that some of us rise above pain, abuse, or trauma? Questions like these both fascinate and challenge. Is there a formula which transforms a hurting and damaged soul into a powerful personality? The bad news: no. The good news: we have many examples of those who walk the path toward healing. We can choose to learn from their example!

Psychologist Edith

Eger survived the NAZI Auschwitz death camp. She married, started a family, and then moved to America as a penniless immigrant. Her life's journey teaches us that “true freedom can only be found by forgiving, letting go, and moving on.” This isn't a one-time process.” It is easier to hold grudges, to seek revenge.” She survived the camps and subsequent loneliness and guilt, finding liberation by “keeping hope alive” in her heart.

Dr. Eger asks four deceptively simple questions that help us move from being stuck in our lives towards a place of inner freedom:

  • What do you want? This question is harder than it looks. To find an answer, it is necessary to look deep within, stripping away layers of self-delusions and the needs and wants of others.

  • Who wants it? Are we defining ourselves through the expectations of others?

  • What are you going to do about it? Dr. Eger notes that “Anything we practice, we become better at. If we practice anger, we’ll have more anger. If we practice fear, we’ll have more fear.” Are we moving toward our goals, or spending lots of energy just spinning our wheels? “Change is about noticing what’s no longer working and stepping out of the familiar, imprisoning patterns.”

  • When? Plans are great; but if we never start walking, we never reach our destination. Dr. Eger relates: “If we are to evolve instead of revolve, it’s time to take action now.”

The message is simple to write, but may take a life time to understand. Embrace hope, forgive yourself and others, look for your true self amidst the competing demands of others, then act on what you find.

You can learn more about Dr. Eger and the power of choice in these two talks: and, or on her home page.

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