Very nuanced analysis here via Christopher Hareesh Wallis, on the “near enemy” of believing that while we can’t choose what happens to us, we can choose how we respond. He shows how this really is not ultimately true—and how we can accept this truth without collapsing into nihilism.
The most obvious evidence for the lack of free will is the simple fact that you don’t exist in a state of blissful happiness, ease, and flow every second of every day. If you could choose how to be, you would choose that.
Later on in the essay we’re offered a clue about how to access our only true freedom. The key is resting as Awareness—i.e. as Awareness being knowingly aware of itself. This activates what in the tantric tradition is referred to as icchā-śakti: the power of will.
So here’s the invitation: accept that you can’t ever be different from how you are in this moment, and you can’t choose how ‘enlightened’ your next reaction or response will be, but you can keep leaning gently but persistently towards the possibility of radical freedom — and you do this by learning, little by little, to repose in your fundamental nature as awareness-presence, and integrating that experience into every area of your life.