I was interviewed last week for a documentary series on cults and cultic leaders. One of the first things my interviewer asked me was if I thought recovery and healing were choices. Specifically, she asked if I thought we all had the choice to move past our trauma, and if we didn’t move past our trauma, was that because of choices we made.

It’s a tough question, because on one hand, for me, I know that my recovery and my journey to joy and to thriving is absolutely a choice I actively, consciously make every day. Often more often than once a day.

However, I can’t say that when someone doesn’t move through and past their trauma – when I or others get stuck, even for a while, in pain and suffering – that that’s because of choices that someone did, or didn’t, make. As much as I know that I’ve worked hard – that I do work hard – to reprogram the crazy programming in my head, I also know that sometimes the scars from trauma may be simply too much to move past or through. I may have worked hard, but I also know that maybe I’m just lucky.

All that said, I do do my best to make choices – often on a minute-by-minute basis – that bring me to recovery and healing. That bring me to joy. And one of the choices I’ve learned to make – and tools I’ve learned to apply – is the notion of feeling good anyway.

I mostly can remember that in every moment I have the option to stay in my pain or to find a way to ease myself to peace. I can choose to stay with the thoughts – the at that moment seemingly absolutely justifiable thoughts – that reverberate how hurt I am, or I can choose to think about something else.

I can choose to feel good anyway.

Feeling good anyway, to me at least, is not about ignoring my realities or hiding my head in the sand…although sometimes those can be helpful options! Feeling good anyway is about admitting what’s going on – inside me and outside of me – and finding something different to think about or to focus on that will, again, ease my way to peace. It’s about remembering that I have a choice. It’s about paying more attention to how I feel – and how I want to feel – than to the things around me that might be upsetting me. It’s about choosing – as often as possible and as much as possible – love, joy, peace, and lightness.

It’s about feeling good anyway. And when I can’t – when it’s somehow beyond my capacity at that moment – it’s about loving myself and having compassion for myself.

And to let that let me feel at least a little bit better anyway.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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