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I heard this word spoken recently by a smart young man and though he had made it up. I loved the word, love made up words in general, so I didn’t mind. Choiceful is a juicy one, bursting with energy and life, inviting us to consider our options like a freshly cut orange with lots of sections.

It turns out it’s not made up ... it’s a real word that describes ‘having an inability to make decisive choices’ or ‘having, providing, or furnishing with many choices’. And it also turns out that it describes the nature of the soul very well - we are in essence choiceful beings.

This dates back to our existential reality. Although we are connected to Krishna, the personal source of our life and our consciousness, we are also independent. That’s because life is about relationship and relationship is about choice. If we don’t have free will, the ability and the freedom to choose, then there is no meaning to love or the loving exchanges that relationships bring. Without free will, love is not love.

Think about if for a moment. If Krishna is the supreme owner and controller of us all, and He forces us to love him, how would we feel about that? Force might bring fear and thus compliance, but it never brings love. Krishna, thankfully, is only interested in love and especially the kind that comes from the heart, from the individual, from the deep pockets of our own souls. The best relationships in our life are the ones that are connected to loving and being loved. The same applies to divine love.

Choicefulness means we can also turn our back and not love Krishna. We can love others - things and people, gods and demigods, animal and plants. We can love everything. Krishna doesn’t mind - He’s got plenty of loving going on in His life. But the great spiritual teachers in the line of bhakti tell us that there will always be a pinch in our heart, a vacancy within, a restlessness of ‘still haven’t found what I’m looking for’ until we connect with the one source of everything.

If we do decide to rekindle that relationship, we will find unlimited choiceful ways to love Krishna and to express that love. We will enter a spiritual realm and marvel at the ways others choicefully love Krishna. We will see that the choicefulness within bhakti yoga shines a bright warm light into all areas of our life and our independence and sense of freedom open up to us in big and beautiful ways.

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