Do you know people who fit the term "victim?" Not in the sense that something bad happened to them, but in the sense that the one or more bad thing(s) that did happen to them is what they use to define themselves? They use thousands of excuses as to why they cannot accomplish things or begin to heal because (insert incident here), Not only do I know many people that fit this description, but I also used to be their queen. I had so many bouts of PTSD and depression from... the huge earthquake, the rape, the loss of my soul mate, the loss of my mother and best friend, the abuse, the alcoholism...and the list goes on. I used to meet people and automatically let them know all of these things about me for what, I can only assume, was a way to gain immediate attention and sympathy. Let's face it, we all want to be liked/loved and when you approach life from the standpoint of being a victim, you feel that sympathy is a form of love and one that can be gained quite quickly...even from strangers. Caroline tells this story of a friend she introduced to some people she was meeting for lunch and this friend, within 3 minutes of being introduced, let these strangers know that she was an incest victim, among other things. When she confronted the woman about why she did that she replied that she was an incest victim. Caroline agreed and told her yes, that she knew and understood that, but also told her that those 2 men didn't need to know that, nor was it healthy for her to define herself as such.
It is amazing how, as humans, we seek people to like/love us, when the obvious answer is to just love ourselves. When we approach life as victims, we think the world owes us something...quite a lot actually. We think that everyone who meets us should feel bad for us and want to help us. We feel that we should be treated "fairly" at all times because, as you know, life is fair...NOT! Wanting life to be "fair" will only cast you into circumstances that, if you could change them would make you gloriously happy but you don't, just because you feel that it is what you deserve or because you are a people-pleaser and afraid that people either won't like you or will become upset with you. If this is the case for you, then I am so very sad to tell you that you are not now, nor have you probably ever, lived your life. You get this one shot at it and instead of making yourself happy first and thereby everyone else in your life who cares about you, you waste your time on pleasing everyone else first and to hell with your needs. Life is what you make it and if you make it about everyone else then I ask you this, is it really even your life, because you aren't even living it for you.
Life is a series of events and it is how we react to and process these events that defines who we are. We term them either good or bad...difficult or easy...happy or sad, etc. At some point, if we want to learn to live life rather than just expect people to react to us on the basis of sympathy, we need to understand that we are cuddling up with woundology and that we need to let it go. We need to find another perception of our lives and understand that who we are is not defined by what happens to us, but rather by how we deal with what happens to us. For example, I have a lot of friends who have been raped (including myself) and they are split down the middle...half of them are still victims from it, even though for many it has been so many years ago, and the other half are survivors, which is what I finally became. Having lived both sides of the coin there I can honestly say that I feel I wasted a lot of time living as a victim. Yes that bad thing happened to me, but having let it go and moved on I am able to help others who have been through it to let go and feel like a total survivor. I don't base decisions on having been raped and I don't not do things in my life because of it.
If you should be one thing in your life, it is honest with yourself. Life is so short and if you are constantly lying to yourself about who you are and how you approach life, you are never going to know yourself. You will always solicit sympathy from others and use your hard times as excuses why you "can't" accomplish or deal with something. You might even use others as your excuse to not face new challenges, ideas, hopes, dreams and aspirations...i.e. so and so is ill and I have to be there for him/her, or so and so can't function in life without me, etc. oey! You need to live for you...though it may sound selfish it doesn't have to be. You can be the loving, giving and caring person you want to be, but with the understanding that your needs, wants and desires must first be met. It's okay to say NO. When you love yourself first and keep yourself happy first and foremost, you will then be able to help others on the simple basis of wanting to help them...that's all. Not because you want to be the hero or the reliable one no one can live without, but because you want to help and then move on.
The past is past and it should remain there. Moving forward brings new hope, new ideas, new circumstances, new people and new situations and each new day wipes the slate clean to make a new start. Approach life as a survivor and honor each new day, each new clean slate, for the beautiful gift it is...a new beginning.
I have posted this amazing video of Caroline Myss. I hope you will find her as wonderful as I do.
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