One of the most important things to do when moving past pain is to resist the temptation to revert to victim status. Forgiveness is probably the main thing to be done, but then comes the daily determination to thrive. Thriving includes living victoriously versus living under repetitive, self-imposed victimization. It is a habit that is broken through validation.
Feeling invalidated after having been sexually assaulted at 15 years old, in hindsight I can admit that my subsequent, drunken rants typically segued into my story of woe. Reflecting on those times, I cringe to think how patient my closest friends had to be—one in particular—to listen to my repeated, anguished recounts of the assault. Moreover, the more I drank, the more bitter my expressions. The toxicity within seeped through the pores of my soul to anyone around me. I was nothing more than an angry, post-traumatized victim.
There are moments even now, when triggered by one thing or another, that I can mindlessly allow myself to revisit some of the darkest places of my past. There are also those days when I can overreact to people’s comments or actions, or to specific, uncomfortable situations. Being amid people, to an extent, is unavoidable. Moreover, isolation is a sure enemy to destiny. Nonetheless, when I’m not myself, but feeling as though I’m losing control, I literally shake myself loose of those negative emotions, being reminded that I am in control—that my past does not dictate my future.
This alternative response is a live affirmation, real time, versus merely rehearsing words meant to be empowering. It is agreeing with what we should know of God’s absolute love that instantly validates us and refocuses our attention to our relevance to him. It is the discipline of being accountable for our thoughts and actions, while simultaneously negating the untruths that tell us that the past will determine our futures. It is choosing victory over being a victim.
As I awakened this morning I heard, matter-of-factually, “No violins for me, just give me my harps.” This, on the heels of a dream that I don’t remember, led me to think of the purpose of this blog: Living Affirmed. As intimated on my Home page, the message herein is that the solemn notes from the violins of our pasts are balanced by the uplifting notes of the harps of our futures as we bravely cross our bridges to destiny. The sounds of our pasts may never be overridden, but the harmonies developed with the sounds of our futures remind us to celebrate the grace in living affirmed of the possibilities of the growth that comes with embracing change.
In summarizing this my last blog of 2017, I invite you to look with me towards 2018 in anticipation of new musical arrangements being composed to entice us to live our lives affirmed. LYLA!
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