Hardly a day goes by without news of a murder somewhere in this country. Yesterday it was the daughter who killed her elderly mother. The other day it was the husband who killed his wife, then himself. Then, of course, there were the murders that made national headlines. The man who killed at a church Bible study. The cops who killed unarmed people. The people who killed cops without provocation. And so on…
This could be a blog about gun violence, but that’s not my point here. There’s a theme running through all these horrible incidents and their tragic conclusions. All the perpetrators of these crimes see themselves as victims. For their own reasons they were angry because of some wrong they felt had been inflicted on them, and they took out their anger in the worst possible way.
Let’s take a look at the word victim. Merriam-Webster defines victim as:
· a person who has been attacked, injured, robbed, or killed by someone else
· a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else
· someone or something that is harmed by an unpleasant event (such as an illness or accident)
Unless you have been living an incredibly charmed life, you’ve been a victim at various points in your life. Perhaps it was putting too much trust into someone you loved and been hurt as a result. Maybe it was being let go from a job you really liked. Or it could have come the day you got an undesired test result at the doctor’s office. Basically, victimization comes whenever you cry out or silently say to yourself the question, “Why is this happening to me?” Or if you’re always feeling like a victim, the question, “Why do these things always happen to me?”
I don’t mention this in a vacuum. I’ve been there. In fact, I can recall a time, not too many years ago, when I kept a DAILY tab of the ways I felt victimized by life. There was the woman who never returned my phone calls. The company I had to beg to get paid. The traffic that seemed to pile up only when I was on the road. I could actually recount specific incidents happening day after day after day that cemented in my mind that not only was I a victim, but that I was fated to be for the rest of my life.
Not a great way to live, is it?
Yet I continued on this road, year after year, until it finally dawned on me that I would never achieve anything I really wanted out of my life, if I continued to see myself as the victim. A victim lacks power. A victim lacks self-confidence. A victim lacks hope.
When I stopped looking at myself as the victim, things started to change. When I asked why the woman wasn’t returning my calls, I discovered she was feeling overwhelmed and stressed, and her oversight had nothing to do with me. There wasn’t much I could do about the company’s slow paying schedule, but I could change how I reacted by not taking their attitude personally and by looking for other revenue streams so I wasn’t totally dependent on them for my cash flow. There was nothing I could do about the traffic, either, but I could find ways to divert myself—like listen to audiobooks or music– to literally “go with the flow” on my commute and not stress about how it was affecting me.
Attitude is everything. One of the things that prompted this blog was reading about a woman named Sophie, who suffered near-daily beatings by her husband until she had the courage to escape to a shelter for battered women. By any definition she was a victim, and if she continued to see herself as such, it’s likely she would have wound up with another man who treated her as badly as did her ex-husband. But instead of wallowing in self-pity she chose to see herself as worthy and as a winner, which motivated her to take action to get on the road to a better life. With the support of the shelter she was able to finish her education and has recently opened her own shelter to help other battered women.
The next time you see yourself as a victim, instead of asking yourself, “Why me?” ask yourself what you need to do to reclaim your power and your confidence. Remember that a temporary setback—as awful and frustrating and anger-making as it could be—is just that, temporary, and that you have the opportunity to take actions to create a new and more beneficial result.
If, on the other hand, you feel you need help processing your feelings, help is but a click away. Please click here for a free discovery session. You never have to feel like a victim again.
Fun Facts About Dreams…
90% of a dream is lost one minute after waking up. The best dreams happen in a room between 68 -72 degrees. Cold rooms promote nightmares!
Quote of the week…
The timeless in you is aware of life’s timelessness; and knows that yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream.