Choices? The best and most frustrating lessons I learned.

I think one of the best and one of the most frustrating lessons that I’ve learned on my journey of healing is that I can make choices. Seems like a no-brainer, right?  I could talk the talk, especially whenever drama was involved. That dramatic soapbox rant of, “you need to make a choice”  was a common occurrence when I was living in a constant state of inner turmoil. To actually understand that I could make choices about my life was a concept that was a little unconscious and fairly frightening for me. This is a hard one to admit, but I’m thinking this may be a relatable issue in some people’s lives. Especially those of us who are are healing from trauma. 

Some of the Best Lessons:

I became aware that I can choose to be around people who are working or living towards self-discovery, or I can choose to be around people who are satisfied to live with their eyes shut. I can choose to have people in my life who aren’t toxic, who want to walk that transformational, self-discovery path that leaves you winded at times. 

I can choose to say what I think about a situation, and give my opinion. I can choose to advocate for myself and for others in a calm, level-headed, thoughtful way. It doesn’t have to come from a backed into a corner, come out fighting, reactionary stance. 

I can choose to add input to a conversation knowing that I have something to say and that it isn’t necessarily the best thing to just sit by silently and agree. I learned that by adding to the conversation it’s not taking anything away from the person, but that I may be giving some insight and a deep and like-minded dialogue can occur.

I can choose to set up boundaries with people. I can give my opinion, I can stick up for myself, I can say no, I can say yes. I can ask for what I want and what I think I need and I can feel okay about asking for those things. I understand that I may not always get my needs met, but I learned I can’t get them met if I don’t ask. That lesson took me right out of that “learned helplessness” role, I would sometimes find myself in.

I know the above may seem basic and rudimentary but for me, these were new concepts. I learned to make choices before the drama occurs. I didn’t have to be afraid of who I am, or what I have to say.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t going through life as a withering wallflower before, it’s just now, I am much more authentic and less afraid to be vulnerable. I have found that I’m more likely to attract a group of people who are just as willing to be authentic and vulnerable, and to let go of the ones who use their narcissism to get their own needs met at the expense of others. 

Now the frustrating part of choice:

I knew this all along….I would have told any of my friends, my kids, my husband, or strangers that we all have the ability to makes these choices. I would have said to anyone, “be authentic, be vulnerable, take a risk, take a chance.” It’s amazing how I can look back on this now and say “Whoa, I used to do that?” I used to be so afraid of what others may think of me, or worse be someone I wasn’t, because I was afraid people wouldn’t like the real me and run away. In truth, the opposite happened. My friendships, and relationships are much more satisfying now than they were seven years ago.

I will admit, that are times, I still get sucked in and find myself in a situation where I should have made a change, created a boundary or stood up for myself sooner, but that’s okay. That seems part of the human experience and I feel good about that. One of the best lessons I’ve learned about making choices is the ability to forgive and to be kinder to myself, and employ the knowledge, that we make decisions with the information we have at any given moment. Once more information comes to light, if it isn’t the right choice, I most likely can go back and make some changes. That is one of the best lessons and at the same time, it can be a most frustrating lesson.

There was a time in my life when all my choices were made for me. I have worked hard to make sure that isn’t the case any longer. Making choices; another step along the path of healing…A path of many twists, turns, non-linear, always changing but continuous growth.

 

choices

 

 

 

 

 

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25 thoughts on “Choices? The best and most frustrating lessons I learned.

  1. atribeuntangled June 5, 2016 / 2:39 pm

    Thank You Mary. I love this feedback. Yes, I agree that women are probably not taught this as much as men. I live in the midwest, so there is a whole culture of “be nice, you dont want to hurt anyone’s feelings,” so sometimes setting boundaries and making choices can be tough. Although it shouldnt be. I would totally do a seminar on this! Have a great day and thanks for the conversation. Alexis

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  2. Mary June 5, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    This is an awesome read! I think this hits a cord for MOST women. It’s surprising, but I don’t think girls are taught about choices when they’re young, as much as boys are. I don’t mean verbally so much as how they’re shown by others in their lives. This generation has changed a bit since the women’s liberation, but so many are still being brought up with the idea that we can’t ask for something, or give opinions, or advocate for ourselves – that’s the mans job! You could do a whole seminar talk on this post. Thank you Alexis!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. atribeuntangled June 4, 2016 / 3:33 am

    Thank You so much for your beautifully supportive words. It is amazing how making the small changes can have such an amazing domino effect. Have a wonderful weekend! 💜 Alexis

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  4. emergingfromthedarknight June 4, 2016 / 3:02 am

    Once we know we have the power of choice, a huge part of our traumatised reality begins to shift as so much of living with trauma means feeling like we cannot do anything to help ourselves and feeling so stuck.
    Taking action and making positive choices is just so important to healing.
    Love this and love that you are feeling so empowered now. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. shelleyb552 June 3, 2016 / 8:46 pm

    Yes, I love the fact that we can support each other on our healing journeys. Enjoy your weekend too…. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. atribeuntangled June 3, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Thank You Shelley. Its a total wirk in progress, and it certainly helps that we can support each other along the way. Have a good weekend! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  7. shelleyb552 June 3, 2016 / 8:42 pm

    Hi alexis…great post and no for people of trauma who had all their choices made for them, these are not easy lessons to learn, nor are they easy to put into action. You seem to have them nailed down and that’s awesome. Have a good day… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I Sing the Body Electric June 3, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    Hey, I have nominated you for the Leibster award if you wanna participate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. atribeuntangled June 3, 2016 / 4:23 pm

    Thank You Daisy. I think you and I were reading each other’s post at the same time today. Your’s was wonderful today (as usual) as well. Have a great day! 🙂 Alexis

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Daisy in the Willows June 3, 2016 / 4:20 pm

    YES! LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! We do have choice. Always even if its a rubbish one – we have choice 🙂 great post xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. atribeuntangled June 3, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    Thank You Jackie. I totally agree, it’s a wonderful feeling of independence over your own life. 🙂 Alexis

    Liked by 2 people

  12. I Sing the Body Electric June 3, 2016 / 2:57 pm

    Can I just say you two, Alexis and Gina are both AMAZING human beings who I feel very “safe” and secure with, which is so important to feel as a survivor (as you will both know as I think we’re on a similar page!) Massive hugs to you both- I’m so pleased we have connected, this is why blogging is so special- Not only what we write and the cathartic release of that, but the souls we meet along the way that are often existing in different time zones, yet enrich each other’s emotional lives, making the psychological atmosphere more pleasant to breathe into our systems. WordPress is FABULOUS 💜😁💜

    Liked by 2 people

  13. SpiritualJourney17 June 3, 2016 / 2:52 pm

    It’s so easy to forget that we have a choice in everything we do. Every – thing. Happy for you that you’re on this journey of being mindful. Thanks for the reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Singledust June 3, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    Alexis its been a joy reading you and knowing your thoughts meet mine….yes i feel the hugs….its warm and full of love….Gina

    Liked by 2 people

  15. atribeuntangled June 3, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Can you feel my hug for appreciation of you and your support. I’m so glad we have connected and can relate to each other on this journey of health we are on. I love how you paired choices and freedom. THAT is exactly what it feels like. Have a great Friday! Alexis

    Liked by 2 people

  16. atribeuntangled June 3, 2016 / 2:43 pm

    YOU, my friend always bring tears to my eyes. I love reading your posts, I love that you are so engaged in others’ posts. You make this journey so much easier. I’m so glad we can walk this together. (a side note, I haven’t forgotten about the quote challenge…those are just a challenge for me. 😉 Have a great Friday. ((Huge Hugs)) to you! Alexis

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  17. Singledust June 3, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    i too learned that being able to make choices was getting my freedom back, so wonderful to read your feelings here my dear and i am so proud you are rejoicing in your choices. be blessed always.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I Sing the Body Electric June 3, 2016 / 2:24 pm

    I LOVE this…I’m so similar in that these ‘basic’ things are revolutionary concepts to me! I was not taught these life lessons when I grew up, and have only just become aware of how unwise my reactionary patterns were before I accessed my abuse memories. Now I’m aware of how my abusive environment has shaped me, I too am making wiser choices, and feeling the emotional benefits 🙂 It’s a steep learning curve- I’m on the same journey as you. You describe it so well. You are a very positive survivor role model and I thank you for writing this as it helps keep me on track 💙😊💙

    Liked by 2 people

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