Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom... The power to choose, to respond, to change.” Steven R Covey
We sing a lot at our house. I mean, we seriously have a song for everything: taking a bath, changing a diaper, getting to the dinner table, you get the picture. I know our boys are going to think we are the biggest nerds ever when they grow older, but for now, it’s amusing and Jackson actually thinks we’re a little cool for singing so much. One song we sing is the Oooh Waaa part of the Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers song, "Why do Fools Fall in Love?" The other day, Jackson wanted to hear the real thing so I youtubed it and we watched together. The kids in the group seemed so innocent, so polite. Later, I told Ben how I wished things were more like that today: a little more innocent. My bubble gum blast from the past image popped quickly when Ben told me that he wiki’d Frankie Lymon (the lead singer) only to find he died of a heroin overdose at 25, a mere 12 years after he first burst onto the scene. So much potential, so much talent gone in one fatal choice.
I’m a positive person by nature because, well, I don’t know why. I’d like to say that it's by nature but I honestly believe humans are wicked by nature and we have to choose otherwise on a minute by minute basis. Maybe I’m idealistic and positive because it’s a good defense mechanism. If I don’t think of the bad then I can’t obsess over the bad and I won’t have a panic attack as a result of my obsessing! Don’t get me wrong – I have bad days. Really bad days. I’m aware of what I have and don’t have, and The Devil loves to remind me of it.
I guess it brings us back to choice. Choosing to be positive. Choosing to be a light in a world of darkness. Choosing to transcend.
In my line of work there are so many afflicted people. I've sat across from people and listened to them tell me stories about things that have happened to them and things that have been done to them and felt my stomach turn. Stories that at first you think, “this can’t be real. Nobody would do that to someone else…” But as you stare into the eyes of that broken soul in front of you, you realize that their bitter experiences are reality. At some level, we’ve all been victimized before. Whether a kid stole your lunch money, a popular crowd snubbed you, or the hands of another took turns they never should have taken, we’ve all been there.
As bad as it might be, victimization doesn't define you. What makes us fall beneath or rise above is the question of where you go from those experiences. How do you take another step without being weighed down by the boulders life has thrust upon you?
You choose better.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I whole heartedly believe that it can take months, even years to heal old wounds; it does not happen overnight. I also believe it is okay to feel hurt, to feel victimized, but you do not have to be the victim. There is a difference. It is an everyday choice to inch forward toward healing. I know a lot of people who have been victimized but refuse to be a victim. On the contrary I know a lot of people who love being the victim.
Wait- how can anyone love being a victim?
You know those people:
- They tell you about what has happened to them every single chance they get.
- They can’t move forward because of what happened to them…instead of moving forward in spite of what has happened to them.
- They honestly don't know who they are if they aren't someone who has been wronged by another.
What good is that going to do me? Seriously. If I dwell on my past how can I ever see where God wants to take me in my future? The old saying that someone always has it worse is ever true. I whine about boys who are screaming at me when another mother longs to hear the screams of a child of her own. I whine about not having enough room to put things in my home when another woman just wants a place to call home. I whine about not being able to give my children only organic food when another mother watches her child sit hungry.
You can not control what someone has done to you in the past.
You just can’t. Focusing on what you can't control is pointless because you can't control it. But you can choose to not let them have control over you anymore. Focus your energy on what you can control. If you have been living a life that has been consumed by wrongs I encourage you to take the first steps toward forgiveness and healing. The freedom that brings is breathtaking.