From Obligation to Opportunity

How often do we use the phrase ‘have to…’, as in, “I have to go to class today” or “I have to go to my friend’s birthday party”?  Some things are obligatory, yes: I have to breathe oxygen or I will die; I have to drink water or I will dry up and become dust.  But when I stop and think of how often I use this phrase, I realize that I am taking away a great sense of awe, wonder, and extreme joy that I owe towards all things in life.

I’ve been working on replacing ‘have to…’ with ‘get to…’ and its made a wonderful shift in my way of thinking about life.  I don’t have to go to class – I get to go to class.   I don’t have to eat dinner – I get to eat dinner.  I don’t have to go to church – I get to go to church.  I don’t have to love my neighbor – I get to love my neighbor.

When our perspectives shift from have to and moves into get to, we can recognize all the blessings that we have around us.  We get to go to a grocery store and buy food.  We get to take a shower everyday because we have running water in our homes.  We get to drink water whenever we want because we have clean water everywhere around us.  We get to remain faithful to our partners because we’re in a loving relationship.

Oftentimes we’re so used to feeling obligated and burdened by the have to… in our lives that we forget how blessed we are to be able to even do these things.  When we step back for a moment and look at how secure, easy, readily available, and comfortable our lives are, we should count it all as pure joy that we don’t have to, we get to.

much love. sheth.

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