Let me make one thing astoundingly clear: you are not a victim. You are a volunteer. What do I mean by this? Our circumstances can indeed be difficult, tolling, and tiresome. I am not negating this. However, how we choose to react to our circumstances is entirely different. While we may not control our situations, we certainly control our responses to them.
Oftentimes, we choose to play victim. We become so invested in our story, that we forget we hold the power to change it! Take Janet as an example. Janet was an inmate at Coleman. She was in her mid-thirties, attractive, and incredibly charismatic. One day, I decided to ask Janet what had brought her to prison. She sighed heavily and began explaining the details of the events that led up to her incarceration. “You see, my mother never loved me. She was always so mean to me and rarely spoke a kind word.” I furrowed my brow, “How do you know she didn’t love you? Did she tell you?” I asked gently. Janet paused, “Well, she never told me, but she was so mean! A loving mother wouldn’t be so unkind.” I nodded, “Maybe that’s the only way she knew how to love you. Perhaps she didn’t know any better. Maybe she didn’t love you the way you wanted to be loved, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t love you.”
Sometimes our perspectives need to be rattled. We become so engrossed in our stories, our suffering, that we become victims to the melodramas in our minds! We are not victims, we are volunteers. We choose to play the powerless role, we prefer to blame others, and keep ourselves as stooges. When I suggested that her mother may have loved her all along, Janet was perplexed. She sat back and bit her lip quietly. “I had never considered that,” she confessed. She had become a casualty of a story she’d recited for years. All the while she had the capacity to change the way she perceived her reality.
My question for you is this: how are you playing victim? In what areas of your life are you intentionally – or unintentionally – keeping yourself small? Once you’ve spotted it, ask yourself, “What is my payoff? How am I benefitting from blaming others?” The truth is, we all have a reason for wanting to play victim. It feels good to get attention, even if it is pity. Once you get to the root of your blame, choose to change it. Reclaim you power and actively use it to create the life you want. Life is not happening to you so much as life is happening with you. You are involved in creating your reality in so far as you choose how you react and perceive your circumstances.
Take a stand for yourself. Do not hand your power away! By blaming others you are giving them power over you. You are once again playing victim, and this does not serve anyone, especially not you. Remember: you are a volunteer. Choose to be brave and courageous. Choose to take responsibility over yourself and your decisions. Choose love over fear. And above all, choose you – every day