Suffering is Universal. Victimhood is Optional.

When I read this phrase in the brilliant book, The Choice: Embrace the Impossible, by Dr. Edith Eger, it really struck me. It was the perfect realization at the perfect time in my life. This one little statement spearheaded a blanket of forgiveness to so many people in so many ways that it felt as if I was looking at my life through an entirely different lens in an instant.

Man-oh-man do I love little nuggets like this.

I began noticing how I’d been holding on to stories I’d been telling myself for years that formed foundations of excuses of why things were the way they were. I had allowed these false narratives to live and breathe as if they were real and tangible reasons for the unfulfilling life I was living. Mostly, I wore these stories as badges of martyred pain that permitted me to remain blameless in my woes while weaving a tale of some villain that I believed wronged me in one way or another. All of a sudden, all those stories that held more weight than I could ever really bear turned to dirt in my mouth when I tried to speak them out loud. They sounded wrong, they felt misled, and they had a taste so bitter I couldn’t even get them out anymore.

And then they were gone. Their weight turned to dust and I watched as they floated off into non-existence. That was a good day, my friends.

Would you like to know how to identify your Victimhood Stories?

1. Take a moment and consider the versions of negative experiences that you know by heart.

2. Within those stories, a wrongdoer is identified that you believe afflicted some kind of harm against you.

3. The most important element that is central to your suffering: you tell them to every new person you meet when an intimate moment provides for it.

4. You can regale the same stories with the same specific details and with the same emphasis on the same words that a tape recorder would fight to get as accurate as you do every single time.

You’ve just identified the Victimhood Stories that are holding you hostage to some false notion that you are not in control of your own reaction to someone else’s bad behavior. Moreover, you’re letting such balderdash perpetuate in perpetuity a self-imposed roadblock against your future self. Worse yet, by doing so you are voluntarily handing over your own agency, gift-wrapped and delivered to the Evildoer that deserves not one part of you.

Starting to taste a little bitterness in your mouth right about now? That’s ok. Wait just a little longer and it will turn into the sweet flavor of freedom.

Let those stories fall beneath you where they deserve to be. Forgive, because it helps you more than them. Find yourself a new lens. #inspiredliving

Ready to tackle your roadblocks? Check out our Transformational Wellness Retreat that Marta Anyse Napoleone and I are working together for September this year. If you’re ready for a transformation, this retreat is for you!

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Elizabeth Craig

Photographer, Reiki Practitioner, wanderer, ponderer, lover of writing.