"Everything you do is based on the choices you make. It's not your parents, your past relationships, your job, the economy, the weather, and argument or your age that is to blame. You and only you are responsible for every decision and choice you make. Period."
Every so often this statement appears in my newsfeed on Facebook. On the surface it seems direct enough. You are responsible for your choices therefore you are responsible for your life.
Here's the caveat. Your choices and decisions are based are your experiences which include how your parents treated you, your past relationships, your work situation, your current living and financial situation and so much more.
Based on your past you may not be able to decide and choose in a manner that you feel fits who you are today or leads to the outcome you desire. You may not have the physical, emotional, mental or financial tools to get from here to there.
When a person is presented with a moment in which an important decision is to be made, they draw upon past experiences to determine how to move forward. Events of the past influence decisions in the present. It is not always evident what drives a decision, makes someone respond in a way they wouldn't choose to if they weren't influenced by little whispers of the past.
Yes, you make the choices you make. And you are responsible for them. But you don't control the mechanisms operating within you. You never know when some random memory or event from the past will creep into your decision-making process and guide you in a direction you don't recognize. You won't know if an old belief system is causing you to overreact to others. Unless you make an effort to do so.
This is why it's so important to do your personal work. To uncover the tentacles of past, expose them, hear them, notice when you behave in a way you do not like and re-form yourself. Building your personal tool box is no small feat. It is a constant practice.