August 24

COURAGE MONTH: DAY 24: “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” ― Nora Ephron

The only difference between being a hero and a victim is in how we perceive our lives. And what we choose to participate in over time.

Being a hero, the courageous stance, means that others do not get to determine what I will allow or not allow into my life.

Someone may shoot me, but how I view and respond to that situation is going to make all the difference. Things happen to all of us, but we can find the purpose for the event, or we can sniffle about it for the rest of our lives, remaining angry and bitter and resentful.

That does not feed the spirit, nor is it a productive way to view life. Every event in my life that has caused me pain is self-inflicted.

What? The pain is always self-inflicted. I believe it should have been different. I am in denial, not acceptance. That is a brutal platform for living life, certain of painful experiences at every turn. If I believe I should only have what I believe to be pleasant experiences, I am setting myself up to be miserable and unhappy.

The key to life, for me, is to know that there are many opportunities to step into my heroine role. This means that I allow life to be exactly as it is today. And then there is no one I am angry with or resentful about.

I do not do wrongs to others when I am in my heroine role. I allow all of life to take place and understand the beauty of the flow of it and that others are doing the best they can too. That is freedom and it takes great courage (heart) to walk through the world this way. I tried it the other way, and trust me, it was not pleasant. I spent my entire day sometimes plotting revenge for those imagined wrongs done by others. What I know after doing this work is that they did nothing TO me, they did it all FOR me. I have grown because of those imagined wrongs.

There is nothing to retaliate for. I spend a great deal more time saying thank you to those who behave in ways I used to view as wrong or bad. It is their journey, and I do what I need to do to stay on the sunny side of the street, my side, not theirs.

In working with Step 8, I see this list growing shorter all the time. I have stopped retaliating and that means I have so many less amends to make. I am not bitter and angry, so there is little to clean up. I love that!

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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