is proactive the antithesis of victimhood?

We all have our stories. We are the star of our own stories, whether we admit it or not. It has nothing to do with humility or ego. Our stories are about us and our adventures in the world, which makes us the main character, the star, the heroine or hero by definition.

Our stories obviously include the backstory. Oh, maybe not so obviously. Perhaps we aren’t aware just how much our backstory (also known as our past) impacts our current story, but it does. Have you ever read a novel where the author waits a long time to clue you into the backstory? Oh, now I understand…that would have been useful to know a few chapters ago!

There are likely some elements of our own backstory we may have forgotten, but are still impacting our current story. Or maybe we haven’t even done the excavation work to discover the impactful elements of our backstory. We just run along on autopilot, driving around under the influence of our past.

Or worse yet, we just accept that our backstory is in charge. We can’t help it. It’s just the way we are, that’s the way the world works, it’s our lot in life.  We become victims of our backstory. We’re locked into who we have always been. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

“What you do and who you become is 100 percent up to you. Dwelling on and using the past as an excuse to shape your future is doing yourself an injustice.”  Joel Freeman

Yeah! (I can’t help but hear that in the voice of one of my favorite cat characters… you’re welcome.)

I forgot where I was going with this…oh yeah…it really is up to us. We don’t have to live in our past and use our backstory as an excuse.

We can be proactive, the antithesis of victimhood. Being proactive isn’t just being in charge. Being proactive doesn’t mean waiting to find out what happens to us and then reacting.  It does mean acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes.

Being proactive requires some believing – in ourselves, in our own power, and our ability to be who we want to be. We need to believe that we are the hero of our own journey.

I think that it can help to examine our backstory and then decide which parts to keep, which parts to archive. We can choose to edit the arc of the storyline.

I think that’s a big job. So I practice by building the habit of being proactive in my daily life. How can I prepare for the tasks and events that are coming up? What can I think through and decide in advance? What are my options, and which one do I like best.

That’s my recommendation for today: simply practice the habit of being proactive, and it won’t be very long until you discover that’s who you truly are: the proactive one, the hero of your own journey, the star of your story —and that you like the main character a lot.

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Love, and light in the shadows,


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