If I had to list the two worst times of my life they would be when my mother passed away suddenly when I was seven years old and my divorce which occurred when I was thirty-nine (experiencing parental alienation comes in a close third as does losing my brother on the day of his first-born baby’s shower). So let me give you a scenario of how it’d be if I stayed in the energy of victim. I would probably be some type of addict–drug or alcohol. I would probably be on my third, maybe fourth marriage. I’d probably have cancer, high blood pressure, and other physical ailments that reflect my inner state of resentment, pain, frustration, anger, and victim-mentality. I hope I’m painting to you, the reader, a picture of miserableness. If I let my challenges get to me, I might even be dead–either it would be self-inflicted or it would be related to physical health. And who would my circle of friends be if I chose to remain a victim and not work on the emotional pain I’ve encountered in my life? Your peer group reflects the way you feel about yourself.
[Tweet “You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it. ~Paolo Coelho”]
Anyone who’s experienced heartache, loneliness, the loss of a job, divorce, a disappointment–well, you know how easy it can be to have a giant pity party for yourself and invite everyone around you to join in. For some people, hosting a pity party in full-out-victim-mode is pretty much standard procedure.
What do you gain by going into victim-mode?
Feeling sorry for yourself keeps you down and allows you to stay right where you are so you don’t have to risk emotional pain again. Maybe the pain becomes comfortable and anything resembling happiness or a better life is a little too scary, so why take a chance?
I was watching a recent “Long Island Medium” show (love her!) and a woman had recently lost the love of her life. When Teresa, a medium, showed up to give the woman a reading, the woman would not let Teresa get a word in edgewise–she was furious with her lover for leaving her, for not contacting her from the dead, and for ruining her life. Her dreams died with her lover. How many people have thought this same thing when going through the death of a loved one, a partner or a divorce? “Hey, this isn’t fair! I was supposed to grow old with you! I don’t want to have to change! I don’t want to become responsible for my life! I don’t want to give up my old dreams!” So many thoughts–angry thoughts–swirling around. Once these thoughts “catch hold,” it can be hard to rein in the negativity.
The article on destructive entitlement is a good reminder of what can happen if resentment over life’s challenges becomes acted out in a way that is not life-enhancing. “Bad” things do happen to people, but they are all learning opportunities in disguise. How will you take what’s happened to you and make meaning from it? Will it serve to enhance your life or detract from it? How many years will you spend caught up in the unfairness, the thoughts of anger and revenge?
How much emotional pain will you endure until you throw off the blanket of victimhood and declare yourself 100% responsible for your life?
You, dear one, are 100% responsible for your thoughts, words, and actions. Yes, life probably has served you up some proverbial lemons, but are you going to let it sour your life? You can–it’s your choice–but there are other choices available to you, too. You are not stuck.
What happened to you might be unfair, but I am reminded of Elie Wiesel’s journey through horror during the Holocaust and how he turned that around to profound growth and healing–and he has helped others to find their own growth and meaning even from the most devastating experiences.
A while ago I wrote a post, pre-website crash (my website crashed and I lost at least a year of work), that was titled “Are You Going to Crawl or are You Going to Fly?”
In this lifetime–which is so short!–are you going to crawl or fly?
Are you going to flourish or remain stagnant because of unfortunate life events?
Today is a new day! Don’t let life define you–you can define your own life! You can decide what will be meaningful in your life–YOU DECIDE THAT! You have the power to be living the life of your dreams. It doesn’t mean it is perfect, it doesn’t mean that “bad” things won’t happen, but you–and only you–can decide from this day forward what quality of life you are going to have.
Love this quote!!! I often say to my clients : are you going to be a victim or a survivor? Bad things do happen – to everyone at some point. But how you deal with it is what is really life changing!
How you deal with it…Yes it can be life-changing! Your clients are lucky to get such great advice and support from you!