You have a choice! Perhaps you have been a victim of a bad situation but YOU have a choice to not live in victimhood! Recently, I was given a copy of the book, “The Choice: Embrace the Possible,” by Dr. Edith Eva Eger. It was painful to read her account of surviving the unspeakable horrors of “living” through her 16th year in Auschwitz in the last year of World War II (1944.) Dr. Eger tells her story of emotionally burying the horrors of her experience for decades until she sought out treatment and support and then to realize she had a “Choice.” She needed to do the work to free herself from her own prison. Her story is remarkable AND not an uncommon dilemma for many of us traumatized by the brutal lessons of our lives.
Why do many of us feel more comfortable remaining in our pain filled life dramas? Sure, it is familiar. Sure, we may think we “deserved” this self-constructed prison because our self-esteem is less than it could be. And, many of us have learned a coping strategy which is successful in dragging other compassionate people into our web of “attention seeking” victimhood as a way to get our emotional needs met. BUT, (a big but) we can choose to not be a victim in our own self-constructed web. We can take some responsibility for how we respond to our life’s traumas.
As I write this blog, Dr. Edith Eger is 90 years of age and has found her way to serve humanity by sharing her story and then sharing her discovery of the choice she has had to make in teaching her lesson from this horrific life experience. This extreme example is supported by her clients working to recover from their life traumas. Each of these stories reflects different discoveries and the advances which she has moved through. No matter what nightmare YOU have experienced, even horrors beyond your control, you have a choice. How YOU respond from the lessons you have survived is up to you. No one else… Her book, for me, was hard to read in her recounting of the holocaust she lived through in the 1940’s. It triggered memories and emotions that could have been avoided but facing her painful memories puts many other life learnings into perspective. Taking personal responsibility is never easy. It is so important if you want to learn and grow most fully. Dr. Eger was opened 25 years after her release from Auschwitz by reading Vikto Frankl’s account of his time in Auschwitz in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning.”
Childhood traumas are reflected in many of the client stories which are shared. These are not an uncommon life experience even in sheltered childhoods. We come into our human lives to live, and then to learn, from the “dramas” and the traumas we experience. I was hit as a child by my father in his frustrations. I learned that I never wanted to hit my sons and perhaps this behavior has been extinguished for our descendants and future generations in our family. The world needs this behavior to be extinguished!
Consider the choices you have in your life, your behaviors, and your responses to the difficult experiences you have found in life. Even PTSD responses can benefit from understanding the possible choices you can have. And, if you are a reader,
“The Choice” is available online or locally. The link to the Amazon advertisement is: at Amazon.com and through many other outlets.
Perhaps consider, YOU have a choice to find Joy in every experience and in the interactions you will experience. Even if these encounters may be difficult or even painful to live through. The lessons which you find may be a main piece of your purpose as you follow your path through this life.
Hang in there….
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