Monday, January 10, 2011
There are a couple of loose ends from previous posts that I should catch up on with you. One, in particular, was posted from my Burning Bowl experience on New Year’s Eve, where I talked about having a “victim mentality.” I know it probably surprised some of you, and I wanted to talk further about it.
We all tend to play victim whenever we give our responsibility and control over to someone else. You don’t need to have experienced intensive peer bullying or an abusive first marriage like I did in order to feel like someone or something else has control over your life. You express that “victimhood” in lots of small ways, too.
Let me give you an example. I knew from the bullying (they have a name for it now) and my first marriage that I felt inadequate, unloveable, inferior, or just plain wrong. Self-confidence was a daily battle, although in later years I won the fight more often than not. What I glossed over was how in little ways I continued to see enemies everywhere. I would see obstacles in some ridiculous bureaucratic rule which stood in my way, someone important I had a difference of opinion with who could screw my future, or even scenarios I would set up in my head that never happened! Ever plan what you'd say to that nasty co-worker? I think we all do it to some degree.
This stuff isn’t always easy to change, for victimhood has its advantages…sorta. We wouldn’t be this way if it didn’t. We get attention and pity, and don’t have to be responsible, to strive. Its easy, very enticing, sometimes very subtle, but I don’t want to live that way, and in the long run, I suspect you don’t, either.
The key to overcoming victimhood is the basic understanding that there can truly be no one and nothing against us. Through our Christ nature, we have the power to shape our lives. We can change, not perhaps the outer circumstances, but what we feel and do about it. We really do co-create our own lives in partnership with God.
A very, very good and full explanation of this can be found in Gary Simmons’ “The I of the Storm” and “The Art and Practice of Living With No One and Nothing Against You.” I recommend both books heartily. Charles Fillmore spoke of this in his definition of the four “V’s” of levels of self-awareness: Victim, Victor, Vessel, and Verity, where we move from being a victim (“done to me”) to victor (“done from me”) to vessel (“done through me”) to verity (“done as me”). We must travel through these levels of awareness in order to fully express our true nature.
I urge you to take on the journey. Its worth it.