By Dr. Dina Evan

It is my hope by the time you read this article, we will all have the “Whose Your President?” question resolved and we can begin to move out of chaos and into a saner state of the union. However, I also feel that is not our biggest issue. Choice is!
We have forgotten that WE make the choices about what to believe and for a very long time we have allowed others to do that for us.

How do they do it?
They do it with beautiful advertising, billboards, tweets, texts, repeated sound bytes and very often lies that create fear. An example is how many times have you seen an ad pop up on the TV that says “Call so and so law firm if you have ever taken yaddy daddy medicine. Which, by the way, was previously advertised as the only one that does not cause cancer and is a safest drug for your family members, you or friends medical condition. Let’s think about how we can make our own better choices.
It’s the holidays and this is about gift giving, and given all we have been through, there is a gift of a soul lesson to be had here and we can decide to decide for ourselves what’s true or not and make that choice for ourselves, from this point on.
When there are a million people or more a day dying, except in the states where wearing a mask is temporarily mandated, perhaps we might change our opinion that wearing a mask is not just about someone trying to control us. We could look at people running for office, regardless of party, and ask, what promises that I agree with, has this person made and then kept in the past. Would I make the same decisions that person has made and do I have the same values they stand for? Maybe making decisions based solely upon party, promises or what our friends think, or how much power or money the people running might have, doesn’t mean the same thing will happen for us.
The greatest gift of choice isn’t so much about what’s going on out there, as it is about what’s going on “in here.”
My Dad was a cheater, liar and abusive. I saw him beat my mother up so many times I knew who he was at an early age. As I got older that’s exactly how and who I thought all men were. However, it wasn’t true and later I met some of the finest people I had ever ­known — and they were men. Until I was in my late twenties, I didn’t know better and I was not yet awakened enough to ask whether my belief was true. Our most important choice, is to examine our own beliefs and make our own decisions in alignment with our own integrity.
Black men have been taught, for good reasons, to look away if a white woman walks by. For years if I am in a store where that happens, I make it a point to compliment the man’s shirt or ask if he might have noticed where the cereal is or anything at all that says look up, you have nothing to fear from me, I do not see you through prejudiced eyes
If I see a black mother with two little black children, I will always stop and say how beautiful they are and tell her I have four beautiful black great-grandchildren myself and,” How blessed are we?”
If you still believe the color of one’s skin determines their worth or value in society, maybe you could ask yourself if that belief is in alignment with your spirit and true values. Or, if you believe that people who love someone of the same gender are bad or wrong, maybe you could ask yourself “What if that person was your precious child?” Would you feel the same? Or, if you believe violence is the right way to deal with our differences, would you feel the same way if you lost or your partner or precious child in a violent demonstration? I don’t think so. We have just stopped thinking for ourselves.
It’s the holidays and maybe this is the time to give ourselves the greatest gift of all…the freedom to make our own choices from a place of our own true values, our own spiritual beliefs or from our own simple logic.
You may not be able to wrap it…because this gift is so big that it changes the world. Happy holidays from all of us to all of you with love.
Dr. Evan is a marriage, family, child therapist and consciousness counselor. or call 602 571-8228.