In these articles, I explore the wide realm of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and delve into how our thoughts shape our inner worlds, external behaviors, and moods.

Which are you? Which do you want to be? You can choose.

It’s all about mindset. Yes, there are circumstances in which someone is a genuine victim. Everyone would recognize the victimization. It can be tragic and awful and make us question cosmic justice, God’s existence, and any innate goodness of humanity.

But in the very face of this kind of victimization, we must have another option. An option that does not doom us to perpetual victimization. The kind of victimization that haunts us every moment of every day, hour after hour, day after day, week after week, year after year. This “forever victimhood” becomes a mentality that just re-traumatizes and re-victimizes us. Enslaves us, mentally. There must be another option, otherwise there is no hope. And without hope, our hearts fail.

It is popular now to live in victimhood, to marinate in a type of new social power that comes with the self-concept of being oppressed, the indignant justice we feel as victims, the justification of petty revenges that satisfy anger and hatred. But all such victimhood does is poison the soul. Self-enslavement, in fact.

There must be another way.

Victory. Choosing to be a Victor rather than a Victim. This is a choice. We have the power of choice. Indeed, at the end of all ideologies and theories, choice is perhaps the only real power we have. From the fattest, most elite world leader to the most impoverished, starving inmate in a gulag, both retain the power of choice. Choice can never be taken away. This is why they torture people to compel them sign confessions. They cannot make the choice for them. This is why they erect re-education camps. They must manipulate the mind and trick someone to new beliefs, and therefore, new choices. They have no real control there. But the victim does.

I often tell my clients, “You don’t have access to other people’s minds. You can’t reach into their minds and turn the dial so they comply with your wishes. But to whose mind do you have access? Your own. And, in fact, that is the only form of control you have in the world. Control over your own mind. This mind control is the only real power and freedom we have. All other circumstances and all other minds are outside out control. Even if we manipulate people and our environment; even when times are good and it seems like we have a tremendous level of control—we do not. It is a mirage. But we always and forever have control over our own minds. We can make choices with our thoughts.”

We are often fooled into thinking we have no choice over our thoughts, however. We so closely identify with all the thoughts that pop through our minds during the day that we come to believe we have no control over what floats through our brains. We feel compelled to act on most of these thoughts, such as urges or cravings for food, activities, or other, baser urges. The sheer availability of gross possibilities tempt us constantly. Some of our thoughts horrify us and we dare not act on them; we feel dirty and guilty just for experiencing such a thought. It is all because we too closely identify with our thoughts and fail to recognize we have choice regarding our inner thought life.

We can ignore thoughts. And we can choose a mindset. If you don’t believe me, you’re simply out of practice.

The Victory Mindset is the replacement for the Victim Mindset. The world wants you to remain a victim. That way, the world retains control over your mind. Malevolent entities desire your destruction, but they must compel you to choose your own demise. You’ve been fooled that you have no control, that oppressors both visible and invisible have the real power. But, ironically, this false message often colonizes the victim’s mind in the very name of freeing the victim by supposedly revealing the truth of the victim’s circumstances.

“Do what you want. Believe what you want. If you feel it, it’s real. If you think it, it’s the real you.” Lies. Lies are the means to mental enslavement.

Don’t be colonized in mind. You are the sovereign over your choice. Choose to be a Victor. No matter what trauma has happened, you have the choice to re-interpret the experience and tell the story about yourself. No one can take that from you. This is power. No matter what genuine insult you receive, you can choose to ignore it. If there is a grain of truth in it, choose to take it as constructive criticism. Choose a radical form of love, and love your enemies. Absorb the curses some mean person may deal and deliver back to them blessings. You can transform the dark into light with the power of choice, of love—of a Victor mindset. You will be invulnerable.

So be the Victor.