“Everything is self-inflicted,” he said.
Absolutely not. That is the exact definition of blaming the victim: telling the victim it is their fault for what has happened to them. Yes, soreness from overdoing it at the gym is self-inflicted. The sexual harassment, the assault, the rape, the fear you consciously hold in the back of your mind. That is not self-inflicted.
The only way I can agree with that statement is when it comes to improvement of self and your journey towards personal success and happiness. No one can define success or happiness for you. Improving your life and working on yourself is “self-inflicted.” You must choose yourself. You have to dig deep and determine what you believe in and what you want to dedicate your life to. What is your cause? What matters to you? What is it that will allow you to achieve happiness?
As cliché as it may seem, my first steps towards self-discovery on my journey to fulfillment and happiness was when I started practicing yoga. I started practicing along to YouTube videos at first, trying to become comfortable in my body. I started recognizing the influences yoga was having on me outside of each session. I have suffered from migraines since I was 10, diagnosed with arthritis by 24, heart issues at 25, and depression, anxiety, and a panic disorder by 26. My migraines required me to get occipital nerve block injections every couple of months for the last 8 years. I have been without injections for over 7 months, and have had maybe 2 migraines in that timeframe. My arthritis was always manageable, but I consistently dealt with pain in my hips, feet, and left shoulder. My heart issue requires me to take medication daily. I was having less headaches, less constant pain, less unmanageable anxiety. Granted, I also recently took a big step towards my future with my continuation of my MPH, but yoga has allowed me time for me. Whether it’s a quick 20-minute class at home via YouTube, or a 90-minute class at a studio, I dedicate every minute to me, to focusing on my breath, to my alignment, to improving myself.
So, no. Not everything is self-inflicted, but you are the only one who can improve you. You are the only one who knows what you truly want. You are the only one who knows what will make you happy. Choose yourself every once in a while.