Range of Motion

Everyone keeps telling me
that I get to make the choice
that happiness and peace
are only one option away

It's frustrating to then find myself
in moments that don't seem to offer
the possibility of different ways of being
and I'm hopelessly overcome with old patterns

I've been asking myself
why I'm not strong enough
to make the right decisions
instead I just keep stumbling

But I think I finally realized
when people say we all have a choice
that doesn't mean the choices are limitless
or that we all have the same options

Sometimes at first your scope is small
I still can't choose unconditional compassion
when my heart is sealed closed with anger
but I can make the decision to be mindful

I can witness myself from a few steps off
in a way I never was able to before
I can get curious about my intention
and question my automatic reactions

Sometimes I can stay silent and still
or even smile as I watch these impulses
swiftly rise, then subside and pass by
right now the changes I make are subtle

Mindfulness is a muscle that with effort
will provide a wider range of motion
new choices will arise naturally
if I am patient and keep practicing
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