Monday, January 23, 2012


I have a new client who feels stuck under the burden of obligation. I let her complain for a couple of weeks about being the victim of her family’s traditions, but this week I let her have it. The very first time she said the word “obligation” I broke into her tirade and said, “Yes, you did choose obligation.”

She looked up confused. It seemed I was agreeing with her, but there was something off with the way I did it. “Choose?” she said. “I didn’t choose it, that’s the point.”

“That’s true, once you choose choicelessness, there don’t seem to be any choices left, but then, you can always unchoose that choice, and then there will be lots of choices.”

NVC says that every moment is choiceful. And the only thing that keeps us from experiencing that, is when we use choiceless language to describe our choiceful existence.

“I didn’t have a choice, I didn’t choose all this obligation! It‘s a family thing.”

“Well your brothers have moved away, and have chosen not to live inside these obligations, so not everyone in your family chose choicelessness. Only you did. And what would your life look like, if you chose differently, rigth now?”

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