Monday, June 12, 2006

We Can Choose

We can choose how we live our lives. We can choose who we will be. Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that I believe deeply in these two truths. As Anthony Robbins says: The past does not equal the future! We can choose.

I am not minimizing the impact of abuse. I know what it has cost me to have grown up as I did. I also know the power we have to overcome that impact. We CAN do it!

It is our responsibility to choose—do we heal or do we stay mired in the hurts of the past. Does that sound scary? Again, anyone who reads my blog knows that I believe in building hope, laughter, awareness of our own strength and wisdom, joy, and success into every day—no matter what is going on around and within us!

I know I posted this early on, but I think it might be useful if I post it again—some of the steps that I found helpful along the way:

1) Make a list of everything that makes you smile—big and small, the longer a list the better.

2) Make a list of at least 20 things you can do in 2 minutes or less. The only requirement is that you can do them. (Ex. Tie your shoes, put a dish in the cupboard, put a stamp on an envelope....)

3) Make a list of your strengths—things you do well and/or are proud of.

4) Make a list of things you would like to have in your life.

5) Make a list of people who are supportive of you and value what you do.

6) Write down what makes you feel safe and/or strong.

Once you have your lists, keep them handy and add to them as often as you can. You can also begin to use them to change your life in wonderful ways.

1) Every day, at least 3 times a day, do something that makes you smile.

2) Whenever you feel discouraged or need a boost of courage, do 3 things, right in a row, that you can do in 2 minutes or less. The boost you get will be all out of proportion to the significance of those things and you will feel better.

3) Every time you feel discouraged or overwhelmed, remind yourself of your strengths and times you have succeeded in the past.

4) Look for ways to begin to bring into your life the things you want to have in your life. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing! One little piece of a dream or wish can begin to build the reality.

5) When you feel down on yourself, remember the NICE things that have been said to or about you! We all tend to focus on the criticisms but the nice things are just as real and even more important!

6) Create an image of a place that’s safe, a place where you can feel strong. Use that imaginary safe place as a refuge when you would otherwise feel overwhelmed. And begin to think about how you can create a safe place around you in the real world, too.

7) Consider finding someone to help you along the way. There is real power in finding someone who will believe you and believe in you when you have trouble doing so yourself and in having someone who understands what you are going through.

Healing is always about rewriting the messages we took in as kids and during times of trauma as adults. And we CAN rewrite those messages! We truly do have that power. It begins first with rewriting how we see ourselves. And the steps above will help.

Sending safe and gentle (((((((hugs))))))),


Charlie said...

It is our responsibility to choose—do we heal or do we stay mired in the hurts of the past.


I refer to it like this: Do we move on with life, or do we continue to die in the past?

(I am from the Blog Carnival)

April_optimist said...

Absolutely admiral! If we stay stuck in the past our abusers win. If we break the cycle, find ways to be happy, learn how to create the lives we want to have, WE win. Even better, we get to be happy.