We learn some behaviors have self-defeating consequences, while others have beneficial consequences. We learn we have choices.
It is so easy to come to the defense of others. How clear it is when others are being used, controlled, manipulated, or abused. It is so easy to fight their battles, become righteously indignant, rally to their aid, and spur them on to victory.
"You have rights," we tell them. "And those rights are being violated. Stand up for yourself, without guilt."
Why is it so hard, then, for us to rally to our own behalf? Why can't we see when we are being used, victimized, lied to, manipulated, or otherwise violated? Why is it so difficult for us to stand up for ourselves?
There are times in life when we can walk a gentle, loving path. There are times, however, when we need to stand up for ourselves - when walking the gentle, loving path puts us deeper into the hands of those who could mistreat us.
Some days, the lesson we're to be learning and practicing is one of setting boundaries. Some days, the lesson we're learning is that of fighting for our own rights and ourselves.
Sometimes, the lesson won't stop until we do.
Today, I will rally to my own cause. I will remember that it is okay to stand up for myself when that action is appropriate. Help me, God, to let go of my need to be victimized. Help me appropriately, and with confidence, stand up for myself.