This is taken from The Daily Love by Mastin and I couldn't agree more! Its not what happens to us -- its how we interpret it that causes us harm. Its the meanings our own minds make that cage us. And it absolutely is a choice we can make -- to make stories about our past traumas that cage us or to make stories that empower and set us free! This is the way EMDR works: it helps our minds come up with new ways to view painful life events that free us from victim identity. Then we can see clearly how to move forward, embodying our strengths and inner resources.
If something really gnarly happens in your life and then you go seek help, in Western society many caretakers will tell you that you had some kind of "trauma". And then boom, once you hear that, most people identify with it and then, in some cases, that trauma becomes their identity, not just an event that happened in their life.
Let us review the definition of trauma from the good ole Merriam Webster's:
Trauma (N): A disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury.
A lot of people get so identified with what happened that they stay there, always identified by what happened, and in many cases, use that identification as an excuse not to grow.
Now, I am by NO MEANS diminishing that fact that crazy shit happens in life. Bad things happen to good people. There is all kinds of suffering in the world. But that doesn't have to be where we LIVE!
You see, there are some key words in Webster's definition. The first word is "state". The state you are in changes during the day. Sometimes you are in a sleep state, sometimes you are in a groggy state, sometimes you are in an excited state, and if you are lucky enough to be with a partner you Love and end up getting busy with them, you can be in a pretty excited state, too. <devilish grin>
We humans can be in all kinds of different states. The state that we go into when we experience a trauma is totally normal and natural. But afterwards, because we are co-creators of our life, the state we stay in is up to us. This is why I love it when Tony Robbins said that there are no such thing as victims, because once the event happens it's up to us to choose to stay in a victim identity or choose an empowered story and become stronger.
I can hear some of you right now screaming, "YES MASTIN BUT I WAS ________" and then fill in the blank. I'm not saying that these things didn't happen and that in that moment you aren't a victim. Of course you are. But after that moment happens, how you live your life, where you choose to live emotionally is up to you and the meaning you give the events of your life! Moments of victimhood happen, a life of being a victim is chosen and we become a victim of our choice to identify with that moment, instead of growing past it.
The goal is not to avoid pain or to deny what happened to us; the goal is to learn that we have the power within us to change and that starts by not letting an event define us. Instead, we know that painful events happen and when they do, we give them an empowering meaning and choose not to relive and make our identity the trauma that we felt.
Who you are is infinite; you are a child of The Uni-verse and you have been sent here with a specific gift that is only yours to express. The events that occur happen to shape us, to mold us and to help us step into who we are supposed to be. You are not broken. You do not need to be fixed. You are eternal and apart of a living Uni-verse that supports you. Give us your gift and don't stay stuck in a moment and let your whole life be defined by one event. You are so much more than that!