My client Sue Ann shared this quote with me a week or so ago and it has been returning to me daily:
“Between stimulus and response is a space, in that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Viktor E. Frankl
When I was a girl and young woman, I struggled with that space. I would think and often say aloud that it didn’t matter what choice I made, I just needed to make it and live with it. It truly is a miracle that I am alive today when I reflect on the hurried, thoughtless choices I made, for the choices I allowed others to make for me, all because of the discomfort of the “space”. All those years I gave away that “space”, my power, my choice.
As this quote from a man who survived a concentration camp returns to me over and over these few simple words: space, power, response, choice, freedom, growth, reverberate in my heart and soul. “…in that space is the power”. Space = Power. My power to choose my response. Choose.
I have learned to stand in my power, guard my space, make and own my choices. Through deep inner work and my training as a coach, I have become comfortable with this space, this place of not knowing, of “needing” to make a choice, where I choose to respond. Do I always make “good” choices? Heck no. But they are mine. And as Dr. Frankl states succinctly, in my response lies my growth and my freedom. Growth. Freedom. I am free to choose.
Debbie Ford says in her book The Right Questions, “…no matter now large or small, easy or difficult, each choice we make, individually or collectively, alters the directions of our lives.” I have no regret for my choices; they have led me to this exact spot. That said, I do feel blessed to still be here. I am certain I was watched over by a flock of guardian angels. Through surviving the choice to let others choose for me, I am guided to my higher purpose, supporting others to find their own answers, their own responses, their own growth and freedom.
Perhaps space truly is the final frontier. (You remember, opening line on Star Trek — Space: The Final Frontier) That place we visit sometimes only for a nanosecond to respond to stimuli, and that response, that choice projects far into the future.