The definition of trauma is feeling like you have no choices - that you are trapped in your situation, until something happens externally of yourself to make a change in your life.
As a trauma survivor, I can tell you this belief creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. When your internal belief is that you have no choices in your life, that you are at the mercy of the universe around you, your external world will reflect your inner beliefs.
Because we feel "stuck" or "trapped" in our situation, we don't actively make choices to change our lives. We wait for something external to happen to us to make the changes for us - loss, abuse, a car accident, getting fired, getting divorced - the list goes on. When we believe we have no control over our lives, we stop making choices, thus reaffirming our beliefs that we have no control.
The truth is, we have the power to make choices everyday to shape our present and future selves. We can choose what our health, career, relationships, and spirituality looks like through our choices, and we make our choices based on our beliefs.
That doesn't mean it's going to be easy. Real change takes time, reflection, and dedication.
The first day you choose to eat a salad for lunch is going to feel much easier than the 100th day you choose to eat a salad for lunch.
The universe is always working for us, challenging us to grow into the person we want to be. But if you begin to choose to make changes in your day-to-day life, to be an active participant in your decisions, you will reap the benefits in the long term.
As you begin to actively make choices in your life, you will notice a shift in all areas of your life. You will find people in your life begin to protest these changes, and this is another challenge for you to overcome. When this happens, ask yourself:
It doesn't matter how long you've been friends, in a relationship, married, working in your current job, etc. You always have the choice to leave a situation that is no longer supporting your choices.
The amount of time you've spent dedicated to this or that doesn't prove how supportive those things are in your life. It's the response you get from them as you grow and change that show the true colors of your situation, and it gives you an opportunity to choose to continue to grow in your current situation, or walk away and begin a new chapter.
Of course, death is always beyond our control. We don't get to choose when we lose someone we care about from our life. But, we do get to choose how we interact with them everyday. We can choose to feel fulfilled with how we respond to them during their time on earth, or to feel regret over "what could have been" when they're gone.
The same goes for our own time - the universe will take you from this earth at some point, and you have no control over when or how - but when you get to that time, will you reflect on your life with fulfillment or regret of the choices you made in life?
I encourage you to look at your day-to-day life, and ask yourself what you want to change about yourself. Then practice it, everyday.
About the Author
Kristi is a UX Design Consultant and takes a user-centered approach to solving problems. She is a creative mind, an introvert, and a highly sensitive person.