One can wonder if this statement is true. Actually, there are things which do not depend on you, like you are born in a specific family, in a given place and time.
You have a certain height and eye colour, your parents give you some or a little support. One can assume that all these factors are out of your control, as well as what is going to happen to you tomorrow. This kind of thinking rings in the words: “That’s how it is here” or in statements that one should or has to do something. This perspective does not encourage people to search for their own way of living. So, where is this choice, where is the space for it? And how to make my life truly mine, and not only matching the values of my family or the people around?
Psychotherapy encourages a person to realize what kind of luggage he or she is carrying; the luggage consisting not only in experiences but also in values and believes. In the words of prof de Barbaro: “…it can be assumed, that our ideas for life only seem to be our own, but in fact they are a kind of recommendation, passed – between the lines – from the previous generations. So in this sense, to make sure that our lives are truly ours would be to look through this inheritance (…) and next – choose what we find useful for ourselves.”
But what about difficult experiences, what about the misfortunes that befall us? I am convinced that I also have a choice here. Something has happened, but it is me who decides what to do about it, how to look at it. For example, losing a job – one option is to give up, but I really believe that one can step out of their comfort zone, learn something new, get to know new people, broaden one’s horizons. Such a step forward liberates from fear, because suddenly you discover that there is nothing to be afraid of, that you can manage.
Somebody wise said “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” As I see it, psychotherapy is looking for this inner wisdom and strength for changes that we decide to make.