If you had lost your home and your job and were faced with dropping your pet off at the county shelter, would you opt for tying your dog to a tree in a park, or leaving your kitty in a good neighborhood, hoping that a kind soul would take them in and give them a forever home?

Most of us have other options, even if those options are not the best. Friends and family take us and our pets in until we can get back on our feet.

But what would you do if you had no other option than abandoning your pet at the county shelter, to be euthanized after 3 terrifying days of wondering when you would be back to get them?

Could you do that? Would you – in your desperation – come up with an outlandish scheme? Enter the park tree and the good neighborhood.

I still cannot imagine what I would do, and I feel sick when I pose the question, however, I now have a better understanding of the impossible choices some people face, and why and how they are willing and able to abandon their terrified pet to possibly die or be eaten by wild animals . . . hope.

The hope of a good home for the pet they love and can no longer care for. Crushed between impossible choices is no choice at all.

I have deep compassion for the people who are forced into impossible choices. I now realize there are times when we all are squeezed in ways we are unable to imagine or cope with.

I am not condoning abandoning your pet to the horrific life of the elements, but I can see why and how they come to that conclusion . . . desperation.

Desperation and existing in survival mode causes most of us to do unthinkable acts.

A book, “Five Days at Memorial” chronicles what any of us can resort to when we feel that desperate sense of no way out. The book gives us a chilling view into the ordeal the staff at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans went through during the 5 days after hurricane Katrina hit.

20 ill patients were euthanized as a humane way out. These hospital doctors and nurses who are usually in “help others” mode did unthinkable acts, believing it was their only humane option.

Perhaps it was. I do not have that answer either way – I wasn’t walking in their shoes. But their unpreparedness was their doom.

If you were in a boat with high waves crashing down on you, and you had to lighten your load by tossing out one person, and your choices were: a loved one, someone you were indifferent to, and someone you disliked, what would you do? Would you jump out instead?

You are as valuable as the other 3, so that is no choice.

When will we see that there is another choice? Prayer: prayer that brings a ship or a vessel in some saving form, or a loving person to adopt your pet. Why do we tend to jump ship into the rocky waters of impossible choices? Why do we go straight to the worst case scenario and replay it in our minds as if it were already the truth?

Why don’t we choose “I know a solution will show up – I trust that!”? Then clearly see the desired outcome as already our reality? Why do we abandon our faith, our hope?

Not long ago I heard a rescue story about a man who was lost at sea, and his mother prayed a knowing prayer that he would be sent a vessel to save him. She had no information on who that would be. The coast guard was doing their best to find him. A man and his wife and their friends went out boating for the day, and upon returning to the boat slip, the man said, “I need to head back out.” His wife and friends could not see why, but went along with his urgent feeling. He headed back out to sea and went right to the spot the man was. He didn’t know why, and he couldn’t explain it. He followed his gut instinct, even though he looked like a cracked nut to his wife and friends. The man lost at sea had also been praying as he was taught to in his religion of Christian Science. He learned that there was always hope, and if you knew and trusted that help was coming, it would. Now how many of us are that absolute in our prayers? It takes a radical reliance to accomplish that. He and his mother both possessed that knowing, and disallowed all other thoughts to the contrary.

Think about how you deal with frightening scenarios. Do you immediately go right to the horrible possibilities? “Sharks will eat him!” – “He will die!”. Do you at least leave room for hope? “I hope someone finds him, but the odds are against him!” – “How will someone find him in that enormous ocean?”

Or do you have the ability to stand firm knowing he will be found, never for one second allowing the scary possibilities to enter your mind? Few people have developed a mind strong enough to stay the course. Fear swamps our every thought. Terror fills our every cell.

It takes discipline to train your mind to think only about what you do want, and to give no thought to what you do not want. In our world advertisers sell us stuff we do not want, and do not need, and cannot afford, by playing on our fears. We have allowed this, and play an active role in their sick game.

It takes a desire for a better life, and a better world, and the sheer guts to do what is right despite the frightening scenarios blasting us with fear and panic.

Doing what is right is not easy, but it is simple. When we say, “Show me the solutions that will help me, and that are right for everyone concerned.”, then Providence can bring us a solution that was previously hidden.

When we decide to live boldly and refuse to choose defeat, instead making up our mind to hold strong and see with knowing eyes, we open up possibilities that were previously unknown. Quantum physics has explained this well . . . we, the observer, have a say in how we see a situation, and that “way of seeing” effects our reality, and actually creates that scenario in tangible ways.

The next time you are presented with an undesirable scenario, choose the outcome you desire. Let all other possibilities go, and give them no thought. Learning to focus your mind will take time, but the rewards are indescribable.

Our free-will allows us to choose the contents of our moments. Providence makes a way. Use your mind to create the life you desire, and not create by default by going to the doomsday scenario. It is possible: where there is a will, there is a way. It is that simple.

Henry James said it well, “A mighty will, that’s all there is.” He wasn’t discounting God, he was simply explaining our role in our own lives, and the proper use of our most precious asset: our free-will.