"Reclaim [our] power"
TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST MENTIONS A CASE OF SEXUAL ASSAULT.
You may have heard of Elizabeth Smart, who was kidnapped for 9 months, in her early teens. She publicly shares her experience of that hell, including pornography's role in making her hell, worse (1). It was so painful for her to be alive that, during this time, she wished she would be killed so that the hurt would stop. Thankfully, she was rescued and her feelings towards being alive have changed.
From hearing her speak, it seems that her heart has really been healing from these horrific events. In some of her speaking events, she talks about forgiveness and why forgiveness is for us and not for our offender(s). She also talks about why letting go (not the same as being in denial) is so important for us, as it allows us to no longer give power to those who have hurt us.
She explains that "by holding onto the past … you're allowing [it/them] to steal more of your life away".
This has been helpful for me in terms of coping with something very dear to my heart. We don't have to wait for a tragedy to live this wisdom though. Today, we can apply what Elizabeth teaches, by being in tune with the stories that we tell ourselves so that we don't mindlessly fall for lies and allow these lies to tells us who we are.
For instance, when we feel rejected, instead of telling ourselves "if only I was more funny/smart/pretty/wealthy I wouldn't be rejected", and allowing this rejection to define who we are, we can acknowledge the pain and decline the lies, reminding ourselves of Who's we are. We are worthy and lovable simply because we are human beings.
It is true that sometimes we are victims and sometimes that place of victimhood feels comfortable and so we stay there. However, as long as we stay labelled a victim, we are not free. It's very important for us to reflect on our beliefs and to tune into the stories that we tell ourselves so that we don't imprison ourselves with self-defeating lies and limit who we become. We all want to live fulfilling and happy lives, so let's learn to not allow events of the world define who we are.
By doing this we learn to "reclaim [our] power".